In pre-recession Marion County, if you were building a single family residence you would be paying a $10,361 impact fee. This fee goes to cover the additional “impact” each single family residence imposes on infrastructure, public education, and fire service. While not many refute the importance of any of these items, most agree $10,361 is a serious chunk of change. When the recession reached Marion County, that kind of money became especially burdensome to those considering building a single family residence. In light of this, the Marion County Commission voted to put a moratorium on impact fees to help attract growth. After five years of the moratorium, impact fees may be making a comeback.
Just recently the Commission voted to extend the moratorium, but only for as long as it would take the newly hired consulting firm to find out how much they should be charging in impact fees in today’s market. This puts the return of impact fees approximately one year away. The decision to reinstate the fees is not a simple one. It’s the classic tug of war; on one side they say current funding for roads, schools and fire stations is inadequate, and on the other side they say any future growth Marion County expects could be ruined by the reinstatement of impact fees. The reinstatement of these fees is a question of if, not when. As the economy improves, you may be prudent to expect them sooner rather than later!