Little Rock REALTORS® Fight Burdensome Impact Fees

By HOM Editor

One of the ways the Little Rock REALTORS® Association is helping to make sure that home buying is affordable is to fight against burdensome fees imposed by local governments.

In the Summer of 2013, the City of Little Rock began debating the merits of impact fees. An impact fee is imposed by a municipal government on new development, supposedly to cover the costs of providing infrastructure (e.g., roads and sewers) for that new development. The city was considering a proposal to implement a sewer impact fee of approximately $275, on average (the fee would vary according to meter size).

The Little Rock Association of REALTORS® saw these fees as impediments to home ownership and real estate investment in the city’s growing areas. An impact-fee requirement would have increased the costs of new development, thus reducing the number of economically feasible projects. Higher prices due to impact fees would also have made it harder for low- and moderate-income households to afford residences in new developments. And, as more buyers competed for existing homes, prices would likely go up, making all homes less affordable.

With assistance from the National Association of REALTORS®, the Little Rock REALTORS® Association was able to use national and localized information to get the vote on the impact fee deferred by the City Board of Directors. The fee proposal was sent back to an advisory committee, which the Association worked to ensure had REALTOR® representation. The advisory committee has debated the issue but has not proposed a new fee, other than a $10 monthly service fee for septic tank users within 300 feet of an available sewer line.

Swift action by Little Rock REALTORS® was instrumental in generating this positive outcome. The Little Rock REALTORS® Association continues to monitor this issue, and will continue to be an effective advocate for consumers.


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