We are members of the Builders Association of Metro Augusta and long-time, concerned citizens of the county. We read with great interest Mike Moosariparambil's April 11 letter in which he discussed the perceived need for impact fees in Columbia County.
In his letter, Moosariparambil advocates the adoption of impact fees and suggests that our elected officials "should not settle for anything less than the national/state average for impact fees."
Moosariparambil evidently knows very little about impact fees. Impact fees are not based on a national or state average. That type of approach would clearly violate state law. Rather, impact fees are based on the funding needs of a particular community and are calculated on the basis of the cost of specific capital projects. Accordingly, impact fees necessarily vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Undeterred by his misrepresentation of the legal basis for impact fees, Moosariparambil proceeds to challenge the data presented by the Builders Association in support of its position that impact fees are not economically justified in our community. However, rather than present facts that contradict the information presented by the association, Moosariparambil has instead compared members of the building community to tobacco company executives. Understandably, facts can be inconvenient, as they evidently are for Mr. Moosariparambil.
The fact remains, however, that growth has paid for itself in Columbia County. The proof is right before your eyes, to name just a few - the new county library, the Blanchard Park property and the property behind Kroger in Evans, all purchased by the county with premium dollars received as a result of growth. In fact, the county currently is considering a rollback in taxes because of the benefits of growth.
Mr. Moosariparambil is certainly entitled to his opinion about impact fees. Hopefully, in the future, that opinion will be based upon actual facts and the law.
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