Bill Description: House Bill 136 would add recreation districts to the list of government entities that can impose impact fees on developers.
Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?
The rationale behind impact fees is that new developments will impose certain costs on existing infrastructure, and the developer of the land should pay for them. The most obvious problem with this logic is that developments increase the value of land, which increases the property taxes on it. Those increased taxes should, in time, cover the services and infrastructure required by the development.
Nevertheless, a host of government entities are authorized to collect impact fees from developers to defray the costs they claim development creates for them. These entities include highway districts, fire districts, ambulance districts, water districts, sewer districts, recreational water and sewer districts, and irrigation districts.
House Bill 136 would amend Section 67-8204A, Idaho Code, to add recreation districts to the list of government entities that can require impact fees from developers.
Recreation districts are not necessary and do not provide vital services to taxpayers.
Does it directly or indirectly create or increase any taxes, fees, or other assessments? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce any taxes, fees, or other assessments?
Allowing recreation districts to impose impact fees on developers will result in an increase in fees.
Does it violate the principle of equal protection under the law? Examples include laws which discriminate or differentiate based on age, gender, or religion or which apply laws, regulations, rules, or penalties differently based on such characteristics. Conversely, does it restore or protect the principle of equal protection under the law?
As is the case with most government taxes and fees, impact fees charged to developers are largely passed on to the end consumer. This is, in effect, double taxation. The problem is felt particularly in new residential development. New home buyers are forced to pay twice — once in impact fees and again in property taxes — for whatever is funded by a recreation district, while those in existing developments pay for these expenses only once through their property taxes.
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