California's Fees on New Development Are 3 Times the National Average. New State Legislation Would Cap Them.
Added 02-25-20 05:21:02pm EST - “California lawmakers have introduced legislation to cap impact fees, change the way they are assessed, and give developers more tools to claw back unjustified charges.” - Reason.com
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A lot of public policies in California make housing more expensive and more difficult to build. That includes the impact fees that cities and counties impose on new developments to pay for infrastructure, schools, and other services.
According to a 2015 survey, the national average impact fee was $5,484 for a two-bedroom apartment and $8,298 for a single-family home (not including utility hook-up fees). In California, the average fees were $15,555 for a two-bed apartment, and $23,455 for a single-family home.
A 2018 study from the University of Berkeley's Terner Center found that some cities were charging impact fees in excess of $150,000 for single-family homes, and that these fees could be as much as 18 percent of an area's median home price.
To ease the burden of these fees, California lawmakers introduced a package of bills yesterday that will cap the fees cities can charge, change the way they are assessed, and give developers more tools to claw back unjustified fees they've been pinged with.
"During the worst housing crisis in the history of California, when housing units can cost upwards of $800,000 per door and impact fees can account for one-sixth of the cost of each unit, we have to think differently," said Assemblymember David Chiu (D–San Francisco), one of the lawmakers sponsoring the fee reform bills, at a press conference.
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