Home Builders Association Sues City of Surprise

July 02, 2014

A lawsuit between a local home builder association and the city of Surprise could get uglier this summer when it goes before the Arizona Court of Appeals. The conflict is over the issue of impact fees.

Each time a new-home permit is issued, builders are usually charged an impact fee, which help cities pay for things like roads and utilities. In 2012, it became illegal in Arizona for the fee to be used to build things like courthouses or city halls. But the city of Surprise said it’s exempt under the new law and has kept charging home builders the fee anyway to help pay off the construction bill for its City Hall.

So far, Surprise has collected more than ½ million dollars. The Home Builders Association of Central Arizona said what the city is doing is illegal and last year filed a lawsuit, demanding Surprise be stopped. But the judge tossed out the case on a technicality, saying the group missed its window to sue by 14 days.

The home builders association plans to challenge the ruling later this summer.