Sunday, December 02, 2007

County Executive to Take Up Impact Fees

It's no secret that the last County Administration acted irresponsibly, bending to the will of the development community, and refusing to raise impact fees to the level recommended by the County's consultant. In fact, the fee was levied at about 40% of the recommended level. County Executive Leopold has decided to re-examine the fee structure, and it looks like we may finally get the fee hike we need.

The most recent consultant report puts the current fee for a single-family residence ($4,500) at about one quarter of where it should be ($20,000) according to the County Executive in the Capital report. The two examples given in the article are that builders currently pay $969 and $3,810 for road and school impacts respectively, when their actual costs to us, the taxpayers are $11,000 and $18,000+.

I would like to implore the County Executive to follow Montgomery County's lead (they just bumped up their fees to cover 90% of the actual cost of new development), and do them one better. Our new fees should cover 100% of the costs of new development, and be tied to inflation, so this issue need not be revisited anew every couple of years.

The current situation can't persist. It is a sick, downward spiral where existing residents shoulder the financial burden for development that most of us don't want.

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