Impact Fees Make Sense

Bluffdale recently approved assessing impact fees on new homes to defray the costs of building new schools. I'm glad that the city of Bluffdale isn't afraid to make people pay for the facilities when they cause a need for it, and it would be nice not only if other cities adopted such policies but if they were extended further.

Roads and rails are a substantial one-time cost. So are parks. And sewer lines. And a spate of other services that are provided by the city. Las Vegas, the poster child for high-growth areas, put off impact fees for a very long time and never ended up adopting them. This meant they had to substantially raise taxes and issue many bonds to cope with the increased needs for transit, schools, and public safety. Citizens who were nowhere near the new development were shouldering most of the costs of growth, a serious lack of parity in taxation.

Other cities, take note: the people who need to pay for this stuff are the ones causing the cost. Get on board the impact fees train now to more fairly distribute the burden.

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2 Responses

  1. Shauna says:

    I like that. It doesn’t really make sense to make those people pay who chose an older, fixer-upper home and not the people who want a new house just because no one else has ever stepped on the carpet. Maybe impact fees would encourage more people to improve upon what is already built instead of starting over in new areas. That improves the community for everyone.

  2. Kris says:

    Just amen to everything above. I’m a snot though because I don’t like the style (or lack thereof) new cookie cutter homes. I like old houses with character. And front porches. Around here I’ve been seeing lots of people tear down 2 old homes to put up a giant new one (which brings up a whole ‘nother issue of jerks hiking up property taxes).

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