Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Problem With Housing Development Fees

I have previous written about the unfairness of development fees and now many municipalities find themselves in trouble trying to balance budgets because of their gross irresponsibility in leveling fair taxation.

Without going back and pulling actual figures, I know that in my area (and certainly my reading of news from other areas indicates the same problem) the percent of municipal budgets coming from development fees has been increasing. New developments are paying the whole shot to bring a neighbourhood up to a certain standard on those developments at the same time taxes are paying for similar upgrades to other areas. The new developments are essentially being double taxed because these fees are so excessive.

The fees are tacked on the cost of a home. So, in Vancouver developers have claimed up to $60k of a home is development fees. Does this hurt the established home owner? Hardly, the entire stock of homes goes up a proportional amount. New and existing homes are not priced differently based on the older homes didn't have the excessive development fees and costs to build, but rather relative pricing as to what you get. So, new homes get more expensive, but so do existing homes. The established home owner re-coops that increase through the sale of their home.

The first time buyer see the cost of housing up the full cost of development fees. $60k over 30 years a 6% is $129,600. It is an extra $360/month. This is the burden transfer essentially to younger people. It would probably only cost existing home owners an extra $25-50/month to pay their fair share and not transfer this burden to youth.

But hey, youth are going to be able to pay that, their enormous student loans, the increased tax burden due to an aging population, that extra $25-50/month in property taxes that's going to come now anyways, and while we are at it, we can give them a lecture on their social responsibility while they feed their kids Kraft dinner.

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