Adopted April 2007
BACKGROUND: Impact fees, paid by developers and builders, are in fact ultimately paid by the purchaser. Applied only to new construction, impact fees are the same whether the purchase price is $100,000 or $1 million. A fair, equitable fee is the desired goal due to their effect on affordable housing and mixed commercial development.
Local governments, seeking alternative public funding sources, have developed certain taxes and fees that are regressive and often counterproductive, including impact fees. Strict legal parameters enacted by the Georgia legislature proscribe how impact fees must be collected. Impact fees generally raise very little money for the local government, and discourage new construction in areas where such development is needed. As a growth management tool, impact fees are counterproductive. The collection of impact fees in urban-suburban areas tends to push development outward to jurisdictions not collecting the fees, which contributes to sprawl. Further, current residents benefit from the expanded amenities funded by new development, which suggests an unfair levy. Those who pay impact fees are less likely to support community wide measures such as bond referenda. Statistically, most homebuyers coming to the metro Atlanta area purchase existing housing, not new homes, which bear the entire burden of impact fees.
POSITION: REALTORS® oppose any changes to current law regarding the collection and use of funds. REALTORS® also oppose any increase in existing fee structures that would negatively impact development.