Once again, the County Council wants to consider additional impact fees on new home construction, ostensibly to cover increased costs to the school system.
Once again, it is being mischaracterized as a fee paid by developers. The developers and builders add those fees to the cost of the home. Along with other costs of doing business such as material and labor. The home purchaser pays the fees, most likely without realizing it, because it is part of the purchase price and rolled into the mortgage.
Since the fees increase the price of the home, then it also increases the home's real estate taxes — half of which go to operating the school system. Consequently, the purchaser pays mortgage interest and principle, probably over 30 years, for the fees, as well as elevated real estate taxes.
While much consideration is given on raising fees, it would be greatly appreciated if the same level of consideration would be applied to controlling costs — the $120 million spent on the Frederick High School comes to mind. Incidentally, a building that has sat idle for most of the year.
It has been a little over three years since it was completed. Unless I missed it, we are still waiting on the response of elected officials who said they would explain why the price was so high and what would be done in the future to mitigate such egregious expense. As is often the case with government programs, the emphasis is on increasing tax and fee levies and not on cost containment.