Development Impact Fee Legislation Update


The South Carolina Association of REALTORS distributed an e-mail yeaterday that you may be interested in. Here it is:

Development Impact Fees

South Carolina REALTORS® oppose any amendments to the Development Impact Fee Act that would erode the protections currently afforded real estate purchasers and local government provided in the Act. Today at 3:00 pm (Tuesday, May 6, 2008), the full Senate Finance Committee will unexpectedly consider S. 107, a bill introduced by Senator Randy Scott that severely loosens and undermines the statute. This bill has not received a subcommittee hearing and none of the interested parties have been provided the opportunity to comment on the bill. Please contact your Senator and ask them to recommit S.107 to a Finance Subcommittee today.

SC REALTORS® have concerns regarding S.107 and impact fees, including:
S.107 has no limits on the amount of the fee and no accountability on how the revenue is to be spent;

– Impact fees increase the cost of homes, impacting prospective homeowners with low to moderate income most;
– Impact fees negatively affect the economic health of the community;
– Impact fees translate into higher taxes for everyone in the community;
– Impact fees are not a reliable source of revenue to a local government; and
– Impact fees cannot make up for poor planning practices of the local government.

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Recommit S.107 to Finance Subcommittee

Dear xxxxx,

On Tuesday, May 6, 2008, the Senate Committee on Finance will consider S. 107, a bill that would severely erode the protections afforded both consumers and local government under the existing Development Impact Fee Act. As your constituent, I oppose this bill.

S.107 has no limit on the amount of the impact fee and offers no accountability on how the revenue may be spent. As such, S. 107 very clearly undermines the intent of the Development Impact Fee Act and the case law on which it is based. I believe that the Development Impact Fee Act is appropriate and necessary to protect both real estate buyers and local government, and I oppose any change to the Act that would erode these protections.

S.107 has not received a subcommittee hearing, and thus there has been no opportunity for stakeholders to comment. Out of fairness to all parties involved, I am respectfully requesting that the Committee recommit S.107 to subcommittee and allow the bill to go through the regular legislative process. I urge you to vote to recommit S. 107 to a Finance Subcommittee. My livelihood and the American Dream of homeownership in this great state depend on it.



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