I found your March 4 article on impact fees interesting. Leaving aside the issue of just how equitable it is to charge impact fees only on new development — and there is plenty of evidence that it is not equitable — I find it almost amusing that now that the Legislature has decreed that there must be an accounting for all impact fees levied, received and spent, the town may decide that it costs too much to administer their collection and use.
Since fees collected, say for new lights, should be spent on new lights and not on salaries of the town’s employees or electric bills, etc., in fairness to the developers that pay such fees, then they should be able to rely on the fact that fees they have to pay are spent on what they were collected for.
Of course, if it becomes too expensive, then we have to rely on Debra Galbraith who said, according to your article, that, “the new rules require the town to earmark any money collected for a specific project.” I guess she doesn’t want to have to account for the fees — “We can’t use it all over town like we used to.”
Now, is there any better reason for requiring an accounting than Ms. Galbraith’s statement?
And, along other lines, does anyone want to bet that if a college does ever decide to locate in Payson, that the town will waive any impact fees to encourage its location? Despite the fact that a college would really have a big impact on the need for more policemen, more firemen, more road improvements because of heavier usage, more water usage.
Just a few thoughts.
Editor’s note: The Rim Country Educational Alliance (SLE) has agreed to pay any applicable impact fees for the development of the college, which would mean an estimated payment of $7.5 million to Payson and most likely millions more to the Northern Gila County Sanitary District. The payments to the town would help pay for the Blue Ridge pipeline, which would avert the likely need for an increase in water rates townwide to help cover the cost of the pipeline.