Latest News: November 2007

Plano weighs end to impact fees it charges homebuilders
Dallas Morning News, TX - November 30, 2007
In another sign the brisk residential growth that once defined Plano has slowed, the city may soon end its practice of charging impact fees to homebuilders. The city established the one-time fees in 1990 to help pay for new water and sewer lines in undeveloped ...

Ketchum boosts hotel impact fees
Idaho Mountain Express and Guide, ID - November 30, 2007
Processing the hotel applications arriving at Ketchum City Hall is costing money and time, but the city is continuing to search for new ways to pay for it. At its Monday, Nov. 19, meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to implement additional fees the city will ...

City officials don't greet proposed impact fees warmly
Florida Times-Union, FL - November 30, 2007
A proposed impact fee on residential and business developers to fund road construction in Clay County has received a cool reception from Green Cove Springs officials. City Manager Don Bowles told the City Council at a meeting Nov. 20 that he had "no opinion ...

Vote on impact fees is deferred
Richmond Times Dispatch, VA - November 29, 2007
Again last night, Chesterfield County's mostly lame-duck Board of Supervisors decided to leave a significant issue on the table so it can be decided by the incoming board. Four new supervisors will begin terms on the five-member board in January, and the decision ...

Letter: Eliminating two projects would reduce proposed impact fees
Vero Beach Press-Journal, FL - November 29, 2007
The residents of Martin County are very fortunate to have a school system with all “A” ratings. We are blessed to have a first-rate School Board, a first-rate school administration headed by Superintendent Sara Wilcox, and last, but certainly not least, our ...

No action likely tonight on Chesterfield's impact fee
Richmond Times Dispatch, VA - November 28, 2007
Chesterfield County's Board of Supervisors tonight will hold a public hearing on a plan to charge a $5,820 per-lot fee on certain unbuilt residential lots to help pay for needed county roads. As many as 9,000 lots could be eligible for that charge. "I don't think the ...

Supervisors: Fix 'impact fees'
Charlottesville Daily Progress, VA - November 28, 2007
Last year, Central Virginia localities had one top priority for their representatives in Richmond: a fairer way to pay for growth. Known as “impact fees,” localities, including Albemarle County, have argued that the best way to pay for growth - such as new roads and ...

City, county at odds over road impact fees
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, MT - November 28, 2007
Without cooperation from Gallatin County, the Bozeman City Commission says a proposal to increase city road-impact fees will encourage businesses to set up shop outside of town, increasing rural sprawl and the carbon footprint. County commissioners ...

County looks at impact fees
Chester News, SC - November 28, 2007
Chester County Council is going to start looking at impact fees to help offset the costs of some developments in the future. The council first brought the matter up at a council meeting Nov. 5. Councilman Joe Branham brought it up at the request of ...

Report Finds ‘No Fatal Flaw' in Bainbridge School Impact Fees
Kitsap Sun (Subscription), WA - November 27, 2007
While a new report reveals there is "no fatal flaw" in the way the city of Bainbridge Island collects impact fees from home builders for school-expansion projects, it does make a call for more public review and better documentation. On Bainbridge, impact fees collected ...

Camden adopts road fees
Lake Sun Leader, MO - November 27, 2007
Commissioners have signed off on a new regulation that implements impact fees for roads. The new fee system will replace a road bond ordinance that was instituted in the county last year. The new system is based on square footage. The fee was based on a study ...

GWA proposes extra cost for new water, sewer lines
Pacific Daily News, GU - November 27, 2007
The cost of getting water and sewer line connections to a new home could increase by $8,000 and by $1 million for a new hotel, based on preliminary figures the Guam Waterworks Authority presented last night to the Consolidated Commission on Utilities to consider. ...

New Raleigh Council Could Mean Higher Impact Fees
WRAL.com, NC - November 26, 2007
Mayor Charles Meeker said Raleigh's new City Council could help him double the fees that developers pay to build homes, which would generate money the city could use to deal with growth. The city raised its impact fees in April 2006 to about $1,200 for each new ...

Impact fees for schools must match true costs
St. Petersburg Times, FL - November 25, 2007
Should Pasco's county government or school district pay for road improvements near new schools? Should the responsible party foot the bill for traffic changes within a quarter-mile of the school? One-eighth mile? Is a new lane of road needed for access management ...

A season for giving
Charlotte Sun-Herald, FL - November 25, 2007
As the building slowdown leaves local contractors looking for work, area governments are seeing more competitive bids for capital improvement and public works projects. While aggressive solicitation for government contracts could save taxpayers millions, in most ...

Lake County panel will examine how to pay for road improvements
Orlando Sentinel, FL - November 25, 2007
Lake County commissioners have appointed fresh eyes to take a look at an old but growing problem. The task force that will examine how to pay for new roads was conceived about three months ago after commissioners rejected a controversial proposal to increase ...

Sunday's Gwinnett Letters
Atlanta Journal Constitution, GA - November 25, 2007
Growth has defined Gwinnett County for decades, but a recent slowdown in our growth rate and the revenue it brings poses new challenges for the county, according to government leaders. Gwinnett County commissioners were told in a recent retreat that ...

Volusia says no to impact fees
Daytona Beach News-Journal, FL - November 24, 2007
When the topic is whether Volusia County charges adequate impact fees for new development, County Council members are willing to talk -- but, for now, that's about it. Citing concerns about the housing market and economy, several council members said this week ...

Survey: Collier, Lee counties impact fees among state’s highest
Naples Daily News, FL - November 24, 2007
A national impact-fee survey has concluded Lee County has some of the highest fees in Florida. But the $15,673.18 in fees paid on every new single-family home built in Lee County seems a bargain compared to the $24,428 paid across the county line in Collier. In fact, ...

Barre admits to 'flawed' water, sewer charges; votes to raise water rates
Barre Montpelier Times Argus, VT - November 22, 2007
A week after officials in Barre Town publicly accused their counterparts in the city of siphoning more money than was justified from the local water and sewer funds to cover municipal expenses, Mayor Thomas Lauzon acknowledged as much. Although Lauzon ...

School Board near Orlando wants to raise impact fees
Orlando Sentinel, FL - November 21, 2007
Lake County commissioners gave no indication Tuesday about whether they will significantly raise school-impact fees for new homes. They didn't say yes, but they didn't say no when the School Board's consultant, Randy Young, said the school district needs ...

North Port legal costs may exceed $1 million
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, FL - November 21, 2007
Faced with litigation over abandoned houses and a road repair fee, North Port could end up spending seven figures on legal services this year. The fiscal year just started on Oct. 1 and the city's legal expense budget has already grown 44 percent, to almost $1 ...

Jackson will pay for fee study
Online Athens, GA - November 21, 2007
The Jackson County Commission voted to spend up to $69,000 next year to investigate whether the county government should charge impact fees on future development to help pay for infrastructure. Commissioners agreed Monday to hire Ross & Associates, ...

Rising Use of 'Impact' Fees
Wall Street Journal - November 21, 2007
When Jonette Banzon and her husband, Muhammed Ahmad, sought to build a home in Elk Grove, Calif., outside Sacramento in 2004, the city made a surprising demand: To get a building permit for the approximately $500,000 home, the couple needed to pay $240,357 ...

10 people to tackle thorny fees
St. Petersburg Times, FL - November 20, 2007
(Pasco) County and school district officials Monday named the members of the 10-person committee that will recommend how much school impact fees should go up. The fees, a tax on new construction, are part of the biggest standoff between the two ...

New Council digs in
The News-Press, FL - November 20, 2007
For the first time since Cape Coral incorporated, five freshmen council members were sworn into office Monday, and they quickly got to work. Among other action, the new council: Voted against reducing utility impact fees by roughly $2,200 per home for two areas ...

Lake Wales Property Gets Break On Impact Fees
The Ledger, FL - November 20, 2007
A nearly square-mile area around downtown Lake Wales will get an edge in redevelopment plans after the County Commission agreed Tuesday to give the property a break on most city and county impact fees. The vote was unanimous. City Manager Tony ...

City loses fight with NM couple
McKinney Courier-Gazette, TX - November 20, 2007
The city of McKinney lost a five-year battle against a New Mexico couple who sued the city for how it spent impact fees to develop a road adjacent to land the couple owned north of State Highway 5. Roger and Jennifer Sefzik sold 15 acres to a developer ...

MPO schedules public meeting on transportation impact fees
Tampa Bay Newspapers, FL - November 20, 2007
The Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization agreed on Nov. 14 to take up the proposal to increase the transportation impact fee for Pinellas County. At the November meeting, the MPO re-reviewed the situation and concluded the proposal should be ...

Builders: Time to improvise
Charlotte Sun-Herald, FL - November 19, 2007
Slowdown in home construction forces contractors to look into other ways to pay the bills . . we have to be flexible in these times. If someone calls and needs help getting their garage cleaned out, we have to be ready to do it." -- Bill Truex, Englewood contractor. ...

Council may end fees for builders
Arkansas Leader, AR - November 19, 2007
The impact fees on new construction that the Cabot City Council put in place in November 2006 are scheduled to almost double this month, but the council that is now made up of mostly new members is considering either halting the collection of the fees temporarily ...

Plan puts Clay County road costs on builders
Florida Times-Union, FL - November 18, 2007
Builders may soon have to pay a fee to help thin out Clay County's ever-increasing traffic. County officials estimate a proposed transportation impact fee could generate nearly $315 million over the next 25 years. The fees would range between $2,442 and $5,362 ...

What will the impact be for you?
Stuart News (subscription), FL - November 18, 2007
Uncertainty about property taxes, growth and the economy prompted Martin County officials to rethink a proposal to dramatically raise the impact fees imposed on new development to help pay for the government facilities needed to handle the growth. The latest ...

An impact fee on new dwellings would aid schools
PensacolaNewsJournal.com, FL - November 18, 2007
My days of having school-age children are over, but I have seven grandchildren to worry about. How many of us are really worried about where our school system is going? We are still experiencing growth, not just in Santa Rosa County, but in most Northwest ...

Plan for impact fees could save residents thousands
The News-Press, FL - November 18, 2007
At the (Cape Coral) city council meeting on Nov. 19, I will be sponsoring an ordinance that will cut the impact fee for water, sewer, and irrigation utilities by over $2,400. The impetus behind this proposal takes numerous forms. For instance, the impact fee, ...

State's High Court weighs stormwater appeal
Herald Zeitung, TX - November 18, 2007
The City of New Braunfels has asked the Texas Supreme Court to decide the fate of its stormwater connection fee. Attorneys for the city have filed with the state's highest court to overturn an appeals court decision that labeled the city's drainage impact fee invalid ...

School-impact-fee hearing is set
Orlando Sentinel, FL - November 17, 2007
Lake County commissioners will hold a public hearing about changes to school impact fees on Dec. 11. The School Board unanimously requested the changes earlier this year. At the hearing, commissioners plan to review data collected by county staff and ...

Paying for progress
Twin Falls Times-News, ID - November 17, 2007
The results of a $44,500 study of whether impact fees are needed in Twin Falls are in, but officials said the findings aren't endorsed by the city. The study, which is legally required before impact fees - costs for growth assessed to developers and builders - can even be ...

Impact fees on the way
Montrose Daily Press, CO - November 17, 2007
With residential impact fees set to go into effect Jan. 1, commissioners now must decide at what phase to collect them. The Montrose County Commissioners will discuss and possibly decide at a Dec. 3 meeting whether to assess the fees at the subdivision ...

Editorial: Impact fees
Naples Daily News, FL - November 17, 2007
With the Southwest Florida economy taking a pounding by the downturn in housing construction and sales, it is clear that this is not a time of business as usual. Collier County commissioners this past week demonstrated they understand that, agreeing to a $53 ...

Residents irate over new fees
News Courier, AL - November 17, 2007
A city ordinance that was put on the books more than 20 years ago has stirred up a hornet’s nest and could lead to a lawsuit against the City of Athens. “It’s outright ridiculous if you ask me,” said Athens businessman Steve Bauer. “It’s costing me a lot of money ...

Wake Forest Considering Fire Impact Fee
WRAL.com, NC - November 16, 2007
A study shows the town of Wake Forest will need to raise more than $11 million to keep pace with sky-rocketing growth. Town leaders said they are considering charging new home buyers an extra fee just for moving into Wake Forest. Wake Forest is a growing ...

Troy panel oks lower fee than school board wants
Belleville News Democrat, IL - November 15, 2007
A Troy City Council committee has approved an impact fee based on house size, but it's about one-quarter what the Triad school district originally proposed. The proposal will be sent to the school board. The proposal is contingent on St. Jacob and Marine also passing ...

Impact fees the best alternative to ‘home tax’
Asheville Citizen-Times, NC - November 15, 2007
The Henderson County voters who helped defeat a land-transfer tax by a whopping 70-30 margin significantly increased the chances everybody in the county will be paying higher property taxes. It's not as though they weren't warned. News stories and the county's ...

Commission delays action on proposed impact fees
Florida Times-Union, FL - November 15, 2007
The Clay County Commission postponed action on a proposed transportation impact fee until Dec. 11, but held a public hearing Tuesday and will informally discuss the idea at a workshop next week. An ordinance that would impose the fees was on the  ...

Housing fee could slam Aspen Country Day
Aspen Daily News, CO - November 15, 2007
Aspen Country Day School might get slammed with $618,000 in employee housing impact fees for the renovation and expansion of its Castle Creek campus, under an amended Pitkin County law. Pitkin County commissioners on Wednesday passed on second ...

Builders call for relief on local home- impact fees
Arizona Daily Star, AZ - November 15, 2007
Home builders are working to roll back or delay some Tucson-area impact fees to help the new-home industry weather its slump. The Southern Arizona Home Builders Association has been asking local governments to allow builders to postpone paying impact fees ...

Contra Costa tax board decreases fees on wineries
Tri-Valley Herald, CA - November 15, 2007
A transportation taxing board has decided to decrease fees on East Contra Costa County wineries and olive oil producers — a move that could encourage growers to move their businesses to Contra Costa. The East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Financing Authority ...

Cecil needs to tap other tax sources
Washington Observer Reporter, PA - November 15, 2007
Taxpayers have long lamented the burden of subsidizing their local municipalities and school districts. Officials in Cecil Township have come up with what seems like a reasonable way to tap other resources. With one large-scale hotel in place and a second on ...

Barrow commissioners weigh impact fees
Online Athens (subscription), GA - November 15, 2007
A recently released report on impact fees has left many Barrow County commissioners with even more questions about how to adopt the fees. The report, prepared by Ross & Associates, an Atlanta-based consulting firm that focuses on long-term public planning ...

School board oks new $354 impact fee
Mountain Mail Newspaper, CO - November 15, 2007
A one time $354 assessment via building permit applications for houses on vacant lots was approved by Salida school board members Tuesday. Superintendent John Rouse explained the in lieu of fee will operate through an intergovernmental agreement involving Salida ...

Growth director steps down after sharp criticism
Orlando Sentinel, FL - November 14, 2007
Lake County's director of Growth Management, whose department was sharply criticized for its pro-growth leanings and poor customer service this summer, resigned Tuesday. Carol Stricklin told her staff she was accepting a job on Florida's west coast. Stricklin, who ...

Utah needs to rethink charging impact fees to pay for schools
St. George Daily Spectrum, UT - November 14, 2007
The verdict is in and Utah does not support vouchers. The salient data supporting vouchers was purely fiscal: how do we pay for this tremendous influx of students? The argument was for privatizing a portion of our education system. The comeback was there would ...

Charlotte lowers commercial fees
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, FL - November 14, 2007
In an attempt to jolt the slumping local economy, the Charlotte County Commission rolled back commercial impact fees Tuesday to 1998 levels. Effective for one year, the reduction could save developers millions in building costs -- and cost the county ...

Planning Commission hears impact fees proposal
Anderson Independent Mail (subscription), SC - November 13, 2007
The Anderson County Planning Commission got a first look Tuesday at how much impact fees would cost residents and how the money would be used. Impact fees would be charged to new homes and developments as a way to help cover the cost of infrastructure ...

Commission rejects plea to delay impact fee increases to help economy
Naples Daily News, FL - November 13, 2007
Rejecting pleas to help boost the local economy, Collier County leaders won’t delay impact fee increases scheduled to take effect in January. By a 3-2 vote Tuesday, Collier commissioners rejected a request from the business community that they delay increasing ...

Library requests development fee increase
MyWebTimes.com, IL - November 13, 2007
Sheridan's Robert W. Rowe Public Library District wants 75 percent more income from residential development fees. The district has a developmental agreement with the village. Whenever a new residential development is built, the library receives $100 per ...

Minimal impact expected
Charlotte Sun-Herald, FL - November 12, 2007
Don't expect a huge turn-around from a reduction in impact fees. It's the feel-good hit of the year. Whether it's actually good for you, or the economy, remains to be seen. Last month, the Charlotte County Commission voted to lower impact fees for residential properties ...

Direct impact
Charlotte Sun-Herald, FL - November 12, 2007
Charging impact fees and covering infrastructure costs has proven to be a delicate balancing act for local governments in Florida, and results across the state have varied wildly. Your mere existence carries a specific price tag. It's the price you pay to move ...

Business leaders seek impact fee help to counteract slow housing market
Naples Daily News, FL - November 12, 2007
With the slump in the housing market showing no sign of ending, the Naples Area Chamber of Commerce will be asking county commissioners for help today. Commissioners will be asked during their meeting to delay increasing impact fees for about six months ...

Impact fees will continue to finish library
The Coloradoan, CO - November 11, 2007
City Council members made the right decision, or perhaps nondecision, Wednesday in allowing an extension of the use of impact fees to help finish a southeast branch library. Library district officials told the council that the fee extension was necessary to help pay ...

City park fund could get boost
Corpus Christi Caller Times, TX - November 11, 2007
The playground at McDonald's has more amenities than the one in Esperanza Davila's neighborhood park. When she and her niece Brianna Brown walk to South Bluff Park to play, she holds the 2-year-old in the big-kid swings carefully because the small playground ...

Road impact fee to come under scrutiny on Tuesday
Florida Times-Union, FL - November 9, 2007
When Clay County commissioners consider imposing road impact fees at their meeting Tuesday, they will hear from a contingent of builders who strongly oppose the idea. A proposed ordinance calls for road impact fees on all new development, both residential and non- ...

County to review traffic-impact fees
North County Times, CA - November 8, 2007
Two years after approving (San Diego) county's first traffic-impact fees over protests, supervisors said Wednesday that they want the fees changed because the fears that it would harm commercial and industrial development appear to be coming true. Led by ...

Impact fees for new developers weighed
MiamiHerald.com, FL - November 8, 2007
Anyone looking to build new developments in North Miami soon might have to pay to become part of the city. On Tuesday, the council held a workshop meeting to discuss new fees that could be imposed on North Miami newcomers. The city is considering charging ...

Poplar Grove impact fees may rise
Rockford Register Star, IL - November 8, 2007
Village officials believe property values are going up. If that's the case, they're going to restructure village impact fees. Village President Roger Day said the board might authorize a study to determine a new land value in its impact fee ordinance. Boosting ...

Council to extend fees to finish library
The Coloradoan, CO - November 8, 2007
City Council members said they would extend impact fees to finish construction of the over-budgeted southeast branch library. The fees are set to expire at the end of the year. The impact fee extension will continue until the end of the new library's construction, ...

Mesa says it’s too late to repeal ‘cultural’ fee for builders
East Valley Tribune, AZ - November 7, 2007
Mesa will argue in court that a legal challenge to the fees it charges developers to help build city museums and preserve archaeological finds is past the point it can be repealed. The Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute, representing the Home Builders Association ...

P&Z votes to eliminate impact fee
McKinney Courier Gazette, TX - November 7, 2007
The Plano Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Monday to eliminate impact fees, hoping that the move will attract new construction to the area. The vote came at the request of the Plano City Council, which reviewed the matter last month. The ...

Chatham voters reject tax
Chapel Hill News, NC - - November 7, 2007
Chatham County voters defeated the land-transfer tax referendum Tuesday in a contest that could preview one to come in Orange County. Earlier this year the state gave counties the choice of establishing a 0.4 percent land-transfer tax or increasing the local ...

Despite proposed rate hikes, we have a good deal
Bossier Press-Tribune, LA - November 6, 2007
As last Tuesday’s City Council workshop concerning the results of a utility rate study demonstrated, it’s getting harder to keep up with the elements of Bossier City’s progressive and forward momentum these days. The workshop culminated months of evaluation ...

Lee staff to propose cost-cutting moves
The News-Press, FL - November 6, 2007
Lee County staff today will give commissioners five recommend ways to control spending. Legislative demands and economic conditions have tightened the county budget. It may be reduced more next year, depending on whether voters pass an amendment ...

Officials consider construction fee to pay for schools
Mail Tribune, OR - November 5, 2007
(Central Point) School District 6 officials are halfway toward imposing a new construction fee that could provide more than $200,000 for capital improvements each year for the school district. The fee is possible under Senate Bill 1036, which enables K-12 districts ...

Don't let transfer tax fog fool you
BlueRidgeNow.com, NC - November 4, 2007
Larry Young has been out of character, by his own description, in recent weeks. The commissioner who styles himself as the fiercest taxpayer watchdog on the Board of Commissioners has been speaking out for a tax increase. "Have you ever heard of a county ...

Henderson County's proposed land transfer tax
BlueRidgeNow.com, NC - November 4, 2007
What is the land transfer tax? In August, the North Carolina Legislature, as part of the state budget, gave county governments the authority to ask voters to approve a .25 cent sales tax or a .4 percent land transfer tax. The new tax options were part of a ...

Camden County public hearing to address builder impact fee
Lake Expo, MO - November 3, 2007
The Camden County Commission will hold a public hearing at 1 p.m., Friday, Nov. 16, to discuss an ordinance that if adopted would charge developers and builders an impact fee for their use of county roads. If approved, the impact fee would apply to all companies ...

Land transfer tax seems best option
BlueRidgeNow.com, NC - November 3, 2007
There has been a lot of misinformation about the land transfer tax in letters to the editor, some intentionally misleading and others indicating a lack of proper perspective. It seems to me that an "impact fee" on new houses would be the fairest "tax," because ...

Supervisors to review TIF charges
Village News Network, CA - November 2, 2007
A November 7 San Diego County Board of Supervisors hearing will address possible changes in the Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) ordinance. The supervisors were scheduled to review the TIF ordinance on October 24, but with many interested parties ...

IMPACT FEE NOIR
Wakulla.com, FL - November 1, 2007
There she was ... Big, and blonde, and Norwegian ... Inga. I had called her from an ad in the News. It said "massages." I called because I was in a quandary. I need a massage soooo bad.  I had heard all about impact fees and I needed some help.  "Soo, tell ...

Calimesa officials considering lowering development fees
San Bernardino Sun, CA - November 1, 2007
City officials are considering lowering development impact fees in order to stay competitive with surrounding cities. In January, for the first time in 13 years, the City Council adopted development fees in seven categories including police, fire and drainage. ...

Judge may rule soon in suit against city
McKinney Courier-Gazette, TX - November 1, 2007
A Collin County district judge could issue a ruling on or before Nov. 9 about a lawsuit involving the city of McKinney and a man who claims the city took 15 acres of his land without properly compensating him for the property.Judge Chris Oldner of 416th District Court ...

 
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