August 25, 2008
When a local government is trying to find revenue to fund the construction and improvement of public infrastructure, it often turns to impact fees levied on new development, using the money to offset the cost of the services required by that development.
But what effect do the fees, which may be ultimately passed on to homebuyers, have on housing prices?
A new book co-authored by Julian Juergensmeyer, professor of law and Ben F. Johnson Chair in Law at Georgia State University College of Law, looks to answer that question and offers solutions to the problem of affordability created by the inequitable levy of impact fees.
Juergensmeyer, and co-authors Arthur C. Nelson, Liza K. Bowles and James C. Nicholas, in "A Guide to Impact Fees and Housing Affordability" (Island Press, 2008), delve into the legal foundations of impact fees and discuss designing impact fees to address affordability, among other topics.
Impact fees, which have been around more than 30 years, are often charged for road, water and sewer infrastructure, police and fire services, and parks projects. The fess are increasingly popular in fast-growing areas where there is little political support for increased taxes.
The authors examine elements of impact fees in place in communities across the country, including some here in Georgia.
The book is intended to be a resource for planners, land use lawyers, elected officials, builders and developers, and others interested in equitable impact fees.
Juergensmeyer, also the author of the treatise "Land Use Planning and Development Regulation Law," is co-director of the College of Law's Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth.