Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Fri, March 05

Column | Impact fees are unfair to homebuyers

It has come to my attention that the City of Kingman is once again considering impact fees on new residential construction. I would have thought government entities would have learned their lesson in the last Great Recession that these fees are counterproductive to the welfare of the government as well as grossly unfair to homebuyers.

Affordable housing and homelessness are a national problem that the whole country is struggling with and impact fees are instantly a major blow to affordable housing.

Many people, particularly young people, struggle to get into any kind of housing and already it is out of reach for far too many folks in need.

If there is any truth to needing impact fees because government has to provide more services to accommodate the person moving in which there is not, then it would seem that you should refund their money when they move out as you would un-impact government.

If a resident of Kingman who may have lived in Kingman for years or maybe their whole life decides to upsize or downsize, they would be paying a penalty for doing so. This is in spite of the fact that they have paid local taxes all along just like everyone else.

Our economy is dependent on growth. Anything that is done to impede that growth is counterproductive to everything in the community.

If the city imposes impact fees, builders will simply not build in the city limits. They will build where their clients won’t have to pay those fees they can’t afford. Make no mistake builders do not pay these fees; homebuyers pay these fees.

Every time a new home is built it represents 2.3 more years of employment when everything is considered in other words – jobs. In addition, a $200,000 house will pay $9,750 in sales tax that year assuming the city sales tax is 2%. How many years would it take for an established city resident to make an equal contribution in sales tax? In addition, that house built will contribute approximately $2,731 a year in property tax to support schools and other government services.

In 10 years, that’s $27, 310 assuming the building lot is valued at an additional $40,000.

No matter how much tax money in its various forms is paid by the taxpayers it is never enough. Government is continuously trying to find ways to enhance revenue and will never be satisfied. Impact fees are one of the most counterproductive, morally bankrupt concepts yet devised to fleece the taxpayer. Impact fees should be outright rejected by the residents of Kingman with a strong enough “no” that this and future councils will never try it again.

(Larry D. Adams is president of the Mohave Valley Contractors Association.)

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