To the Editor:

An impact fee is typically a one-time payment imposed by a local government on a property developer. The fee is meant to offset the financial impact a new development places on public roads, schools, parks, recreational facilities, and water and sewerage, among other services.

Our state elected officials need to rethink what is common place across the country when it comes to developers and developments. Currently, our local elected officials are not permitted to request an “impact fee” from a developer. This was decided by N.C. Supreme Court some years back. Our state elected officials have failed to bring forth legislation to allow local government to levy impact fees.

Taxpayers should be livid and write their state legislatures and ask them to move legislation forward on this issue. An example of why taxpayers should be livid is shown below and happens every day throughout North Carolina in local municipalities and counties

Developer XYZ want to rezone 160 acres in Any Town, N.C., for new multi-family housing complex. This new development will increase the households by 25 percent in the town. Any Town has a small police force and town hall. As a result of the additional households and safety concerns, the town is going to need to expand its police force and build a new police station. The estimated cost of the new town hall/police station is $4 million.

As the law stands today, Any Town will be required to pay for this needed facility by either incurring debt or by using funds in its reserves. Regardless of how Any Town decides to fund this project, the current taxpayers of the town will bear the expense.

This is happening right before our eyes. We, the taxpayers, are responsible to foot the bill for required infrastructure of developments for developers who are making a fortune! Why are we the people allowing this to happen? We all can’t be deaf, can we?

If North Carolina legislators did their job to represent their constituents instead of the developers, they would quickly proceed with legislation to allow local governments to ask developers to pay their fair share of infrastructure needs and not soak the citizens in these communities. The irony of the lawsuits recently filed against the Town of Mooresville by developers is that taxpayers get to pay the town’s legal expenses. Does anyone else smell the rotten fish?

Wake up, taxpayers!

Dan Hester

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