Adobe Stock

According to the Idaho Statesman, homeowners in and around Boise, Idaho, are experiencing increased property taxes, while developers in some areas are being whacked with impact fees. “Impact fees are one of the ways we can take some of the burden off the property taxes,” said Canyon County Commissioner Tom Dale. Dale is pushing Canyon County to adopt impact fees to help pay for new sheriff’s offices and a jail. “It’s one part of the equation that helps growth to pay for itself,” he said in a phone interview.

That’s because impact fees can only pay the cost to build new infrastructure, such as new roads or fire stations. They can’t pay for the day-to-day costs of operating local government, things such as salaries or maintenance.

Impact fees are not new — the state gave local governments the ability to charge impact fees starting in 1992. Boise and Meridian did not begin to use them related to fire and police until around 2007, during the pre-recession housing bubble.

The counties, meanwhile, lag further behind. “I was shocked to see that we didn’t have any impact fees,” said Democratic Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo. That’s something that she’s hoping to change. This year, the county began the slow, data-intensive process required by state mandate that eventually will allow it to collect impact fees — perhaps as soon as next year.

Read More