Friday, April 18, 2008

Impact Fee Committee's Modest Proposal

According to today's Capital, the Impact Fee Committee appointed by the County Council, has arrived at a proposal. Unfortunately, for the residents of the County, it both waters down the basis on which the impacts were estimated by Dr. Nicholas, it also only recommends taking them up to 80% of that basis......over 5 years.

Should the Council follow the recommendations of the Committee, the impact fee that would have been levied upon a three-bedroom will drop from Dr. Nicholas' recommendation of $18,669 to $12,800, about the place Dr. Nicholas recommended the fee be placed 7 years ago.

The only measure by which this recommendation could be considered a success is when one compares it to the recommendations of the Impact Fee Committee appointed in 2001.

Once the Council decided defer this decision downward, it was clear that the development community was going march the impact fee number downward. Now, we're left having to hope that the Council disregards the recommendations of the Committee that it appointed.

One curious fact about the article is that the Capital writer went out of her way to repeat Ed Middlebrooks canard: "At one point, a councilman accused County Executive John R. Leopold of rushing through a proposal with huge hikes to distance himself from the development community, which had made large campaign contributions."

As someone who is concerned deeply about quality of life issues in Anne Arundel County, I will gladly take a County Executive who makes a habit of raising millions in campaign funds from the development community, if these sorts of policies are the way he chooses to pay them back.

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At 6:16 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

Even if the Council decides on a modest phase-in of the higher impact fees, the scale needs to be adjusted annually to keep pace with cost inflation.

I also hope that Mr. Benoit's proposal to raise transfer and recordation taxes rather than impact fees does not resurface. The impact fees in AA County do not adequately address the additional costs to taxpayers that they are intended to mitigate.


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