Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Paying for growth

It looks like there may be a state budget deal on the horizon, but there is no word if the legislative halt to impact fees will be part of the plan. Mesa uses impact fees to help pay for the bonds needed to build projects in the growing parts of the city.

If the impact fee moratorium is part of the plan, it would put a major burden on the existing taxpayers of Mesa. They are estimating that Mesa could lose as much a $5.5 million. You think that's bad, Gilbert could lose $134 million and Queen Creek could lose as much as $13.9 million.

Development or "impact" fees are payments made by the builder or the developer to a city or town. Usually, its to help offset the traffic that they are bringing to the area or to alleviate the other burdens (such as public safety) that will be added to the City's budget for accommodating the new people. If the people are coming into the growing area, they should be the ones paying for the added burden. It certainly makes sense.

The idea of "Growth paying for itself" really seems to make a heck of a lot of sense. The article talks a lot about homes, so one would assume its the people who want to start building more homes who are pushing for this issue. If you are so interested in getting things going again, why not buy up some of the housing stock at a better price so the overall value goes up?

This is a simple case of some people trying to take advantage of this dire budget situation to help improve their bottom line. Hopefully, the Governor and the legislature will see through that and make sure its out of the final budget.


Heath Reed said...

Yeah, this is coming from the home builders more than just your regular developer. One of the problems is, growth really does not pay for itself and is a false notation. It pays for the start of it, but who maintains it? Who pays for the upgrades and infrastructure? That’s right, the tax payers. This is one of the biggest waste of tax dollars that no one sees.

You said something interesting in your post in that “Mesa uses impact fees to help pay for the bonds needed to build projects in the growing parts of the city.” To many it does make sense. But the way we grow is what really has hurt this city. Sprawl has killed it and we cannot afford to maintain this type of growth anymore. In the county, fees are different and that is why Queen Creek and Gilbert is having a hard time paying for infrastructure too.

Why do you think West Mesa, downtown and the fiesta area have gone down and have lacked any attention from the city in the past??? That’s right, focus was on growth and not maintaining the city as a whole. We enjoyed the boom here in the 80’s and 90’s and would not face reality that the bank was going to run dry someday in supporting our city.

Growth does not fully pay for itself and we should really stop accommodating this type of cancer in the desert. I think they should pay fees and it should depend on the location, density and use on how much the fee is. Stop over parking our places and think about retaining people in the city instead of getting people through our city with wide roads.

Sorry to sound like a broken record, but the wrong growth is not the solution and it has got this city and state in its current state. We have to rethink and be smart about the way we growth and invest into our city if we want it to be stronger and better.

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