posted on April 11, 2006 13:24
To me, there are two mysteries in the debate over Raleigh’s impact fees:
- Who paid for the calls supporting higher fees?
- Why would downtown development be exempt from higher fees?
First the calls.
The News & Observer says this is a partial text of one call:
Hello. If you are a taxpayer, it is urgent that you attend the Raleigh City Council hearing tomorrow, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m. It’s about impact fees and who is paying for our growth. Right now, you are — about 90 percent of it — while developers — who pay only 10 percent — are getting a huge subsidy from every taxpayer for the new roads and parks that impact fees should pay for.
Raleigh's fees on new development have not changed since 1987 and now the City Council is finally considering an increase. But the plan on the table would still leave taxpayers holding the bags for about $30 million every year.
We need to kill this weak proposal and put a better plan forward, as Mayor Meeker says. It is time that developers paid a fair share: No more taxpayer subsidies.
It is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. The developers will be there; we need to be there too. Come early and bring your friends. Let's get it done before another 20 years passes.
But The N&O said the call did not identify who is paying – and, thus, who stands to gain from higher fees.
Do Mayor Meeker and Bob Geary know? If so, would they tell us?
Footnote: the Wake County Homebuilders, who paid for ads against higher impact fees, maintain that such anonymous calls may not be legal.
Second, downtown’s exemption.
As I understand an earlier comment on this site from Bob Geary, the higher fees would not be imposed on downtown development. Apparently, as I understand Bob, that’s because downtown development requires no additional infrastructure.
Really? No road widening? No more water and sewer? No more police or fire protection? No more people using all manner of city services?
Is this justified? Or is Raleigh's government favoring downtown at the expense of the rest of the city?
This could become a lovely political fight in next year's elections.
Click to Read & Post Comments