Councilman responds to realtors who object to change in electric fees

7 months 1 week 3 days ago Thursday, December 07 2017 Dec 7, 2017 Thursday, December 07, 2017 3:08:00 PM CST December 07, 2017 in News
By: Maia McDonald, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA -  The Columbia Board of Realtors is voicing opposition to a proposal that would shift the cost of electric connection fees from current homeowners to the developers of new housing.

CEO Brian Toohey said in a statement, "The Board of Realtors fear additional fees passed on a homebuyer will further increase the home affordability issue facing homebuyers wanting to live within the City."

Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas spearheaded the proposal. It would add $182 to the cost of a building permit.

He says the fee in place now, which is paid as part of electric bills, means current residents shoulder the costs of expanding Columbia's electrical infrastructure for new developments and subdivisions.

"It may cost two or three thousand dollars per house to expand our electrical system to accommodate that new house and we're not collecting any of that," Thomas said. "That means that current rate payers are burdened with that cost."

Toohey's statement comes after Columbia Board of Realtors President Jim Meyer sent a letter to members of the Columbia city council, expressing the board's opposition to the fee change.

"Mr. Meyer and the Board of Directors' opposition to the electric connection fee stems from a deficiency of affordable housing in the City of Columbia," he said. "According to Mr. Meyer, 'affordable housing available to homebuyers in Columbia has been in short supply the last five years, especially for first time homebuyers."

Thomas said developers need to help pay for the city's expansion.

"Columbia is a rapidly growing community," he said. "Our population has about doubled in the last 30, 35 years and so that's created tremendous public costs in terms of expanding our public infrastructure systems, such as our sewer system, our sewer treatment plant, our water purification plant, our electrical infrastructure system."

Thomas analyzed the costs the city spent to expand the electrical infrastructure system from 2004 to 2014. He found the city spent around $20 milion.

"That cost, about $50 per household per year, represents a subsidy being paid by current residents of Columbia, many of whom are low-income, to new development," Thomas said. "More recent data provided by City staff suggests the subsidy is currently about $140 per household per year, or $12 per month."

Thomas said he knows why the board doesn't want the change in who pays the electric connection fee.

"The development industry doesn't want it to happen because they'd prefer to keep the costs of building as low as they can so that they can then sell those new houses as cheaply as possible," Thomas said.

He said the idea the fee would affect affordable housing is unfounded.

"In the letter from the Board of Realtors, they talk about the impact that increased connection fees would have on affordable housing," Thomas said. "The truth is that none of the housing that's being built in Columbia is affordable anyway and what is happening by not having a connection fee is that a lot of poor people in Columbia are paying more than they should have to in their electric bills." 

If the fee change is approved, Thomas said, it would be gradually implemented over several years. 

More News

Grid
List
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A 61-year-old southwest Missouri woman has been sentenced to life in prison for an ambush-style shooting of... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 18 2018 Jul 18, 2018 Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:08:59 AM CDT July 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - An arrest for suspicion of filing a false report has been made in connection to a reported robbery... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:44:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - After four days of searching, Jerry Kinman has been found dead near Little Dixie Lake. Kinman,... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:19:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
STURGEON - The carnival rides at the Boone County Fair are back up and running after closing unexpectedly just hours... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:00:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A democratic candidate for Missouri's fourth congressional district criticized the Republican incumbent Tuesday for her lack of action... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:46:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Chamber of Commerce harshly criticized the city council at Monday night's meeting regarding projects being put... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Hy-Vee recalled its Spring Pasta Salad from 244 stores on Tuesday. Company officials said 20 illnesses by... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:54:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
MEXICO - Josh Hawley faced questions about President Donald Trump's summit with Russia as well as tariffs facing Missouri farmers... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 5:31:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Construction crews began adding a turn lane for an upcoming Columbia middle school on South Sinclair Road on... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:58:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY – Expecting mothers in Boone County will soon have more services at their disposal. The county received... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 2:16:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Grain Belt Express Clean Line, a proposed energy transmission project through northern Missouri, got new life... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:59:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
ASHLAND - A child identification program wants to help parents be as prepared as possible in the event that a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:41:00 PM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Nineteen agencies received more than $115,000 in grant money Tuesday from the United Way of Central Missouri.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:56:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some people may notice their trash laying out on the curb for longer than usual on Tuesday. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 11:12:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - A car chase which started in Cole County on Tuesday ended in Columbia with two arrests. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:22:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The group fighting a ballot measure that would make Missouri a right-to-work state has outraised its... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:17:30 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say two planes carrying more than 250 passengers made emergency landings at Kansas City International... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 10:11:34 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Police records related to the shooting death of Rovon Blocker suggest the incident appeared to be accidental. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 17 2018 Jul 17, 2018 Tuesday, July 17, 2018 9:39:00 AM CDT July 17, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 80°
10pm 79°
11pm 79°
12am 76°
1am 74°