Will HoCo Delegation increase Developer Fees as promised?
It has been a long, long road trying to get higher developer fees charged in Howard County to increase their contribution to school enrollment. The Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) task force, worked for over a year, and requested the change. The Bill was put in late in 2017 and it did not get enough support, with many promising "next year", they would make it happen.
This year, Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary kindly met with several people educated on this topic and drafted Howard County local State Bill 3-19, proposing to raise developer school charges from $1 per square foot to $4. Some are clamoring for $8, while various stakeholders are hoping for $2 or no change at all. Howard County is woefully lower than other growing counties in what we charge developers for the impacts they create, while increasing residential units. Concerns over raising these fees include fears that the increase will just be passed onto home buyers in the form of higher home prices. Developers don't have that kind of monopoly on home supply.
While the Delegation might also be focusing on a transfer tax increase funding of school needs, they seriously need to get a move on voting on 3-19 and increase these fees. Many campaign promises were made on this specific, exact subject. Recently, a work group was formed to study this issue some more. Many are concerned that this will delay things for too long. This issue has been studied for long enough. To let this die and wait yet another year would be unconscionable. Check out The People's Voice Ethics Ballot 2018 Endorsement question on this topic and see what the positions were at that time, HERE.
Please ask the Delegation to vote on this Bill soon, and not let more studies, special interest financial scare tactics, or inaccurate market predictions keep them from following through on this long, overdue promise.