Williamson County commissioners voted this week to raise the county’s education impact fee, reportedly as much as 20 percent.
This, according to BrentwoodHomepage.com, which said the fee helps finance new schools and charges a one-time fee on new residential construction.
“As of Monday, the Education Impact Fee has already generated $42.1 million; $12.5 million was paid under protest. Proponents of the fee argue that growth should pay for growth: meaning, more homes being developed means more residents – more residents means more children, and more children means more schools are needed to accommodate them,” according to BrentwoodHomepage.com.
“Those against the fee, which included multiple realtors at Monday’s meeting, argue that the fee disproportionately affects just one of many factors that is responsible for growth, and that a broader tax would be more fair. Opponents of the fee also argue that costs will simply be passed down to new home buyers, further exacerbating the county’s higher than average home prices.”
The website went on to say that The Home Builder’s Association of Middle Tennessee sued the county over the fee in 2017.
“The education impact fee mandates that the fees be updated every three years, with multiple methodologies used to calculate the amount increases,” according to BrentwoodHomepage.com
“Before the vote Monday night, the education impact fees were $2,827 for residential development of 1,399 square feet or less, and $11,210 for residential development 3,400 square feet or more, with varying rates in between. Following the vote, the fee for residential development 1,399 square feet or less increased by 19.34 percent to $3,374, and the fee for residential development 3,400 square feet or more increased by 9.16 percent to $12,237.”
According to The Tennessean, not all realtors opposed the impact fee.
“I support you, and I support its creator (former county commissioner) Todd Kaestner,” The Tennessean quoted Danner as saying.
“People then and now want to put the burden of new growth onto new growth. It goes to the capital cost of schools. People move here due to low property taxes and schools.”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Background Photo “Williamson County School Board Meeting” by Williamson County School Board.