Full System Development Charges Ordinance

I propose that Asheville enact an ordinance which requires new development to pay the full infrastructure cost to the city. Studies elsewhere have shown that fees and permits come nowhere near to covering the actual cost to taxpayers of subsidizing new development.

We are frequently told that we must “increase the tax base” for some unstated reason. The implication is usually that by increasing the value of taxable property in the city we will all reap benefits. But, in fact, we all share the costs, not the benefits. We end up paying more for traffic control, for schools, for municipal services, than most new developments pay for with the added taxes. So we all lose.

Researchers in Oregon have done the most comprehensive studies on this issue. As in so many other areas we could do a lot worse than to emulate plans introduced there.

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