« Why the El Paso Times didn't endorse Naomi... but kind of did anyhow | Main | The anti-growth crowd confounds »

February 19, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Sorry david a $3,000 impact fee over a 30 year loan is what $10 a month. If the home owner is prevented from buying a home because of this maybe they shouldn't be in one in the first place.


Not when you properly apply interest. That's no small change to many El Pasoans. You don't think the PSB could sell a piece of that billion dollar real estate portfolio to build something for the serfs?

OK its $15 and even at that which is probably high it is of no consequence payment wise. All of these complaints from the builders is spurious. Of course when it comes to new homes maybe they should lower their profits a bit if they are that concerned.

Remember the story from the PSB as to why they have all that land.....to sell in the future to pay for maintenance, capital improvements and growth of the water system in order to keep water rates lower. So I guess the PSB is never, ever going to sell the land it has in trust so the answer is W&S impact fees forever.


I'm still wondering why you wouldn't ask that the PSB use the billions it has taken from taxpayers for situations just like this. Since when is it okay for the government to tell you one thing and continue to do another?

Billion's? Have you had your eyes checked recently.

If development pays for itself, why do we need a QoL bond every ten years? Maybe the water stuff is as you say, but I'd rather see the PSB have the money in escrow to build needed services than not have it and have to load it back onto everyone.

So, to the $3K add on the initial capital cost of parks, libraries, public safety, etc. and lots will reflect their real cost, not the artificially low cost that they do now.

Sorry about the serfs. They should try staying in school and not having 3 kids before they are 20 and they will be able to afford their dream home in the future.

U: I find your argument interesting. Over the years as the local taxing entities raised their tax rates all I heard at council was everyone saying that can't afford the $20, $10, $5, whatever annual increase to their taxable value. I know people that really sweat out a $50, $100 or whatever monthly increase in their escrow account - because it screws up their monthly cash flow. Surely those people know when they buy a house that tax rates are never going down - always up. Using your logic then I guess no one should buy a house because no one has any idea how much taxes will go up each year and affect their cash flow. At least with $3,000 tacked on the price at the beginning that's done and over with. Its the tax rate creep that kills the cash flow and ability to afford a home.

This my coment about Impact Fees from one who served on the Capital Improovements Advisory Committee during the last six years. CIAC reviews the City's Land Use Assumptions, the Water Utilitie's projected Capital Improvement Projects (CIPs) and the subsequent Impact Fee Calculations.

Impact Fees are another "User Fee", which is a form of tax on entities that benefit directly from use a service or infrastructure similar to development application fees, building permits, etc. Calling it an Impact Tax is a scare tactic because saying tax is a bad word to most people. Fee is the proper term.

Home buyers in the new service areas receive a direct benefit from the new water and waste water CIPs extending to their homes. The rest of the Water Utilitie's rate payers get NO benefit. There are some valid arguements and many bogus arguements not to have impact fees, but simply stated if you use, you pay. If you don't use you don't pay.

U is right about the increase in the monthly payment from the proposed increase. The calculation for increased cost of CIPs to the East Service Area would add about $15.00 to a home buyer's mortgage payment. Less in the Northeast, and even less in the Northwest, due to of lower cost of extending new CIPs to those service areas.

Also, DK's analogy of impact fees vs utility connection investments is false. The electric and gas utilities are owned by private investors who expect a ROI and growth of income, not taxpayers who would rather avoid additional expenditure and get no benefit from PSB's revenues.

You have to wonder why the builders -- who make millions from the sale of their houses, and I mean millions -- can't pick up the cost of an impact fee themselves. If they were really, truly worried that the fee would price their houses out of the range of the buyers, they would find some way to absorb that fee. I say the PSB should keep their land, it's a contingency fund. And water is going to get more expensive each year. Cheap water has come and gone.

Well the Supreme Court gave new meaning to the words tax, penalty or fee. Anytime government makes you pay for something it's a tax. I don't care how you spin it. And I completely understand the impact fee law. Started in Houston and Dallas that had the legislative power and voters to get it done in 1989 or thereabouts.

The economic factors/guessing that went into the basis for raising the fee is voodoo just like traffic studies are - voodoo. It's simply an educated guess based on wishful thinking. Anybody go back and review the assumptions from 5 years ago and see if El Paso grew as predicted in those assumptions?

Remember a FINE is when you are doing wrong and a TAX is when you are doing well...A FEE is a TAX for just doing.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)