Routt County The Routt County commissioners discussed this week invoking an impact fee on new construction in unincorporated Routt County.
The agenda item was initiated by a letter sent to the board from the Regional Affordable Living Foundation, recommending that commissioners consider an impact fee.
"As county commissioners, we're willing to look at it," County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said. "But an impact fee is something that would be voted on by the Board of County Commissioners, so we have to be sure it is something we can legally defend doing."
Commissioners Stahoviak, Dan Ellison and Ben Beall have asked that county attorney John Merrill take on the task of contacting consultants to complete a report regarding an impact fee.
Hired consultants will have to assess the need for affordable housing in Routt County, what commissioners believe the projected need will be in the future, how the county is planning to fill the need, and the real-dollar amount needed from the proposed impact fee to fulfill that need if it exists, Stahoviak said.
There have been similar studies done in Pitkin and Grand counties, so the commissioners are confident that there are well-informed and experienced consultants available for the job.
Although the commissioners would not actually impose an impact fee until after the November election, depending on whether or not a proposed city excise tax is passed if that makes the ballot itself they would like to get the ball rolling on research.
The impact fee, a tax that would be attached to new construction, is an important aspect of RALF's proposed excise tax. The proposed excise tax on new construction within Steamboat Springs would generate funds for purchasing land for affordable housing.
RALF suggested that the commissioners invoke the parallel impact fee so that an excise tax doesn't drive a disproportionate share of construction into unincorporated Routt County.
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