According to the Idaho Statesman, population growth is putting a strain on local services and creating traffic in Idaho cities. The municipalities are responding by raising impact fees in order to finance road improvements and new infrastructure. The fees are charged to developers based on the size and type of new projects. Developers then pass the costs onto home buyers. According to Idaho law, the cities can only use the revenue for capital expenses, like new parks or fire stations.

Developers say higher impact fees put affordable housing even further out of reach. Bryan Wright, owner of Intermountain West Homes, a Nampa homebuilder, said impact fees unfairly place a burden on new residents.
“We’re working hard to get affordable housing,” Wright said. “The impact fees affect that in the long run.”

Cities could save up some of the revenue coming into their general revenue for capital projects, but many officials believe they can’t afford to wait. In the next decade, for example, Nampa is projected to absorb 20,000 more residents, 10,000 new residential units and 4 million square feet of new commercial and industrial development.

That growth, which outpaces estimates from previous years, will force Nampa to spend $256 million on capital investments, according to a new study commissioned by the city, which also included the growth figures.

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