Posted: Jun 7, 2014 6:56 PM by Amy Munneke, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Jun 17, 2014 3:42 PM
COLUMBIA- A Columbia councilman is considering whether or not new developers pay enough to accommodate new residents.
Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas presented a budget analysis to members of the community Saturday at Dunn Brothers Coffee. The analysis consisted of payments made to the city by new development compared with the costs incurred by the city to expand infrastructure systems in order to meet the needs of new development.
Thomas looked at development fees over a 10-year period and found that the developers are only paying 20 percent of the costs while the other 80 percent comes from taxpayers.
One infrastructure cost he looked at was "Road Capacity Expansion" projects since 2005. He found that the total cost of these projects was $84.5 million but the new developers paid only $7.6 million.
Thomas said Columbia is adding 10,000 residents every three years and it isn't fair that current residents are having to pay for the accommodations created to meet the needs of new residents.
"We are paying for part of the cost of growth from the growth but the majority we're paying for from our existing community and we need, I believe to get closer to charging growth for the actual cost of growth," Thomas said.
Thomas said that he and the other council members have discussed increasing new development fees on the November ballot.
He said they have not discussed how much the fee increase would be.
KOMU 8 News reached out to several new local developments but they have not yet responded for comment.