What's Your Impact?

Great article in this week's Indy by Bob Burtman. Burtman analyzes the problems passing legislation to authorize impact fees and other mechanisms to compensate the public for the costs of accommodating growth.

The main stumbling blocks, as you might guess, are the homebuilders and realtors PACS, among the most effective promoters of self-interest in the state.

One interesting twist that Burtman reports in the homebuilders legal challenge to Durham's impact fees in which the builders claimed that they could not pass impact fees on to buyers and that the fees therefore cut into profits (cue for big crocodile tears). In the past, the argument has been the opposite, challenging the fees as a burden on homebuyers.

Read more about NC Homebuilders Association & the Sprawl Lobby or my own Chapel Hill Herald column of 8/21/2004.

It's time we hold our local builders and realtors accountable for the organization that represents them. Elsewhere, I wrote about the Mayor of Chapel Hill's fine opinion of one of the area's most esteemed developers (not to pick on a favorite bète noire, of course). Is East-West Partners or any of its principles a member of the HBA? If so, how can they reconcile their touting their efforts as anti-sprawl while supporting what has accurately been called the sprawl lobby. Do we really want these folks serving in prominent positions on planning and development boards knowing that they are supporting efforts to undermine our community goals in the legislature?

Or, here's a twist for you, how about the impact fee include payment to offset the lobbying contribution of the developer, funds our municipalities could use to support our own lobbying efforts (via the League of Municipalities, perhaps).



Yup! Guess I didn't need to go on my little rant (see A Tale of Two Taxes). Bob about sez it all.

PS (off-topic)--Apparently some folks have gotten incorrect info leading them to believe that my father's memorial celebration is Saturday. Wrong! Its Sunday, feb 20, 7pm, ArtsCenter.


I'm reminded of two slogans--'Don't mourn, organize' and 'Don't get mad, get even'. Yes, its awful that the developers are well organized, that they have all manner of politicians in their pocket... But looking around the Chapel Hill political landscape, can it be said that those opposed to their agenda have done all we can to organize ourselves and project power?

Sounds good, Steve. What do you suggest?


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