Cities Scramble To Meet Arizona's New Impact Fee Deadline

July 30, 2014

Arizona cities and towns are required to change the way they charge impact fees for new homes and other buildings under state law. But some cities say they won’t be able to meet Friday’s deadline.

Impact fees are what cities charge developers to build sewers, roads and sidewalks. Tucson won’t have its new fees ready in time. Lynne Birkinbine is Tucson’s infrastructure planning manager. She said the measure lawmakers passed in 2011 is very complicated and the city got a late start on developing a new fee program. Birkinbine said Tucson needs more time to create a fee plan and builders won’t have to pay the fees for a while.

"It’s a loss of about $3 million for the five-month period," Birkinbine said. "We don’t know how many people are going to come and pull permits right now, that’s sort of a guesstimate, but it’s definitely an impact.”

Surprise is embroiled in a lawsuit with a home builder’s association over the city’s impact fee plan. Homebuilders in Prescott should be happy, their fees will be cut nearly in half under that city’s new development fee scale.