Bill To Adjust Impact Fees Annually Adopted By County Council

This action follows a recommendation from  a fee study. .


Frederick, Md (KM) :Legislation to annually adjust impact fees on new residential development was approved Tuesday by the Frederick County Council.

Impact fees are imposed on new housing development. . The revenues pay for school and library construction.

This new ordinance requires that an annual report be presented to the Council on or before January 15th of each year with recommendations for adjustments to be made to the fees. The new fees, which could go up or down, take affect automatically unless the Council passes  a bill to maintain the current fee schedule. That legislation would take affect on June 30th of the same year as the report.

The measure was sponsored by Councilmen Jerry Donald and Steve McKay. Donald says the fees are based on the State’s school construction index, the type of home being constructed, and how many students the new residence will produce. ” For 25 years, these fees have been a political football. Often, they remained static for years due to a lack of political will,” Donald says. “When this happens students are stuck in overcrowded classrooms and portables, and the long term taxpayers of Frederick County are forced to pick up the tab.”

“For 25 years, we’ve been playing catch up,” Donald continues. “Now it’s time for this fee to be adjusted by the math, not the politics.”

Councilman McKay says one of the arguments for not adjusting the fees each year is that the county needs to look into how these fees are assessed, and whether there’s another way. “I’m all in favor of taking a new look at how we assess impact fees,” he says. “I’m not in favor of saying ‘not now to this measure until we do that.’ It’s just another recipe for delay. We can do both.”

“We need to get this fee on a regular, updated schedule, guided by cost, and all the other factors that go into its calculation, and just get in done,” McKay continues.

The adjustment to the school and library impact fees was a recommendation from an impact fee study conducted by TischlerBise, Inc.

Under the calculation resulting from the study, the impact fee on a single family detached home would decrease, while the fee on townhouses and other residences would increase.


By Kevin McManus