As the bill is written now, Loudoun and other area governments would be allowed to levy a maximum impact fee of $8,000 on each new single-family homes. Townhouses would only be subject to a maximum of two-thirds that amount and multifamily units would only be subject to half that amount.Loudoun's supervisors strongly oppose this bill, and rightly so. As currently proposed, it would invariably lead to higher taxes on homeowners in exchange for higher profits for homebuilders. (Many of whom are not based in Virginia, incidentally. Toll Brothers, for example, is based in Pennsylvania.) Cutting approximately $39,000 from the contributions developers make to the County in exchange for the multi-decade costs new homes impose on our community would force the County to collect that money from taxpayers. The costs attributable to new homes will not change, just who pays them.
Under its current proffer guidelines, Loudoun requests contributions totaling $47,000 for new single family detached homes approved through the rezoning process. - Leesburg Today
It is clear that this bill was written in response to the housing crisis and the collapse of home builders' revenues. Instead of homebuilders taking their medicine and cutting the prices of their homes by trimming their profit margins, homebuilders are seeking to reduce home prices by reducing the amount they have to pay communities for the right to build the homes. They want to pass the costs they will impose on the counties and towns in which these homes are built directly onto the people who already live there.
It is no surprise this bill facilitates transfer of wealth from homeowners to homebuilders as the bill was largely drafted by the home builders themselves!
Davis reveals -- as I had suspected but did not know for sure -- that the Home Builders Association of Virginia not only backs the bill but helped Watkins write it. - Bacon's Rebellion(Incidentally, click through the link for a lively discussion of this issue and it's impact here in Loudoun.)
Northern Virginia is not the only area recognizing the problems this bill causes. Bloggers in Virginia Beach have recognized this for what it is: a delayed tax increase on homeowners.
Virginians care about the cost of growth. It was the biggest issue in many legislative and local elections last year and in the election of Governor Kaine in 2005. However, due to pressure being put on your Senators by their leadership and homebuilder lobbyists, SB 768 is not being scrutinized in the way that it should. Sen. Yvonne Miller (SD-5) went so far as to say it was being rammed down the throats of localities, many of whom remain unaware of the bill or its dire consequences. - VB DemsWe need to take action now to stop this bill from passing. Below are a list of our representatives in Richmond. We need to contact them and tell them to vote against SB768 and not eliminate the proffer system.
- Sen. Vogel (Western Loudoun, Clarke, Frederick, Fauquier) - firstname.lastname@example.org - Richmond: 804-698-7527
- Sen. Herring (Eastern Loudoun, Herndon) - email@example.com - Richmond: 804-698-7533
- Del. Rust (86th) - firstname.lastname@example.org - 804-698-1086
- Del. Marshall (13th) - DelBmarshall@house.state.va.us - Richmond: 804-698-1013
- Del. May (33rd) - JoeTMay@aol.com - Richmond: 804-698-1033
- Del. Poisson (32nd) - email@example.com - Richmond: 804-698-1032
- Del. Caputo (67th) - DelCCaputo@house.state.va.us - Richmond: 804-698-1067
A strong, grassroots message to Richmond can make a difference on this bill, so please take a few minutes and register your opposition to SB768 and replacing proffers with impact fees!