Impact fees

November 9, 2012 


In a Nov. 4 article about Richland schools, Kylee Genetti said, "We need to urge the city to charge builders and new home buyers for new schools." What she fails to understand is that those home buyers already pay for their share of the new schools through the property taxes they pay every year on that home they have bought.

School impact fees merely punish those buying a new home by taxing them first with the impact fee, and then every year after that with property taxes. Look at it this way: A family with five children can buy an existing home and not pay the impact fee, though they are obviously going to impact the school district, but a retired couple whose children are grown may buy a new home and pay this absurd tax.

Another thing to consider is that the buyer may pay excise tax, real estate commission and mortgage interest on the impact, which does nothing for the school. School impact fees are inherently unfair and not a way to finance school construction. We all benefit from schools and should all pay equally through bonds, levies, state funds and other broad-based and evenly distributed methods.

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