Frederick County Commissioners recently approved the formation of a task force to discuss whether impact fees are the appropriate approach for funding infrastructure needs resulting from new developments. From the article in the Frederick News Post:
The unanimous decision followed discussion about eliminating the county’s impact fee and replacing it with a transfer tax levied when properties are sold. The Maryland General Assembly would have to authorize the change, so recent efforts to swap the fee with a tax fizzled without support from a majority of Frederick County’s legislators.
However, representatives from the real estate and building industries, which will be represented on the Task Force, have differing views on this approach.
Michael Kurtianyk, president of the Frederick County Association of Realtors, said increasing impact fees isn’t good for the housing market. But creating a new transfer tax is the wrong alternative, he said.
A representative of the building industry is excited to see county officials considering new models for funding infrastructure. Denise Jacoby, executive officer of the Frederick County Building Industry Association, said the county’s impact fees are already high, and continuing to raise them undermines affordable housing efforts.
The Task Force is set to begin meeting on November 19 and Commissioners hope the group will develop a proposal for consideration during the 2014 General Assembly Session.