Proposed Impact Fees are subsidized 50% – by YOU

by jhwygirl

The City is proposing changes to its impact fees by adding a transportation impact fee and reducing other ones. The parks impact fee, for example, is proposed to be cut by 55%.

The newly proposed transportation impact fee, on the other hand, is half of what the economic consultants determined the rate should be.

Half. So that half that isn’t getting paid for by development will be paid for by you.

Ward 1 candidate Jason Weiner pointed this out to council Monday night, telling council that government shouldn’t be in the business of subsidizing development.

Kudos to Jason Weiner.

Meanwhile, Chamber of Commerce representative Gary Bakke called for Council to do a study on the impact that the fees will have upon business.

Maybe the Chamber should do its own study? It seems that they not only want the taxpayers to subsidize businesses impact on the transportation infrastructure, but they want the taxpayers to subsidize a study to determine the impacts of the impact fee on them. Lovely.

And besides that, aren’t impact fees instituted to alleviate the impact that the fee payer (in this case business) has on the assigned infrastructure (in this case transportation)? Hell – if that’s the case, I want the City to do a study on the impact the impact fee is going to have on my bank account.

Comparatively speaking, the Missoula’s proposed fees are lower than most other communities in the ‘hood. For example – a 20,000 square foot office buidling’s impact fees here would be $43,600, whereas that same building’s fee in Bozeman would be $82,562 – or in Belgrade $63,482.

In another example, a commercial building of 20,000 square feet, Missoula’s fee would be $79,160, while in Bozeman the fee is $138,727 and in Belegrade its $163,808.

A single-family 1,700 square foot home would pay a fee of $3,038, where in Bozeman it would be $7,160. In Billings the fee $3,222. The current impact fee in Missoula for a 1,700 square foot home is $2,226.

I spent some time in Bozeman back in July. New construction and business itself seemed to be boomin’ to me. I saw plenty of new subdivision crops popping up from Belgrade on through to Bozeman (admittedly, I didn’t go beyond, having turned south – so I ponder what lied to the east)….and town was filled with sparkling new businesses and commercial structures-in-process.

And if my memory serves me correctly, the roads were in pretty darn good shape as I drove through the old neighborhood.

  1. Ayn Rand

    So you are saying the houses in your hood ( Bozeman ) cost more that in Missoula. Would that be about 5000 dollars for a comparable home. Ah heck, it’s only 3 dollars a sq ft. Nice…If memory serves me, you are in favor of afforable housing. At least be consistant.

  2. What?

    I’m thinking you need to go to bed and come back in the morning after you’ve had your coffee.

  3. noodly appendage

    He’s making the point that impact fees increase the cost of housing.

    They do.

    Bozeman’s city commission recognized that by (illegally, imo) deferring to zero net present value the payment of impact fees by builders and owners of workforce housing.

    You can’t have it both ways. Either people pay their impacts, or they don’t. That includes residences, and it includes rich or poor people, jhwygirl.

  4. noodly appendage

    And Bozeman’s fees for each residence is likely to be 12,000 dollars by year end.

  5. if it were that simple.

    the market and the buying power of consumers have a far more affect on the cost of a home than impact fees (or taxes or and SID). In other words – a 3 bedroom 2 bath 2000 square foot home in the university district, for example, is only going to garner a certain range of price. Period. And the maximum price that someone is able to get is going to be what they are going to sell it for.

    The prices of homes in Missoula – or in Bozeman – are not going to go up in direct corollary to the increased cost in an impact fee or any other permit fee.

    You don’t often – I don’t know that I ever have – seen a professional in the affordable housing industry get up and speak against an impact fee or an SID. Like someone from HomeWord or the Housing Authority….Reason being that those fees – even taxes – are there because when a fee or cost like that is instituted, it has everyone paying for the service that is needed.

    If the impact fee, in this case, isn’t instituted, what is the end result? Either the roads go to hell, or taxes go up. Who is going to pay when taxes go up? The homeowner – rich and poor.

    Better to pay it up front? That’s what I think.

    That’s kinda why I don’t like the fact that development is subsidized to the degree that it is and why I’d rather that development pay its impact fee and infrastructure cost up front…..

    In this I posted this:

    A few weeks back there was a debate on a new major arterial which took traffic off of Reserve. This upset the fairly new subdivision, as they were being faced with an SID that they had no right to protest. BUT, this problem was two-fold – first, they bought and didn’t know that the arterial was part of the approval process for the subdivision they were moving in to and second – perhaps the subdivider should have had to pay for it in the first place and not been able to pass it off to unsophisticated buyers some years later.

    I didn’t like the fact that the developer didn’t have to provide – up front – the infrastructure that apparently was required as part of the approval process – so instead each individual homeowner got hit up later – at what had to cost more because most certainly it would have been cheaper 5 years earlier (or whatever length of time.)

    Pay as you go. No subsidy for development. I can’t think of any direct benefit I get by having my taxes go towards making sure that some subdivider or new big box store (or whomever) gets to pay less for their subdivision and development application fees or building fees or impact fees.

    No inconsistency there.

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