Councilman responds to realtors who object to change in electric fees

10 months 1 week 6 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
(CNN) - President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the US is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 4:20:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) - The Washington Post says Saudi Arabia's announcement about the death of contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi is not an... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 2:28:00 PM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
COLE COUNTY - One man is dead after being ejected from his motorcycle during a crash Saturday night. Kin... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 9:15:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
PECULIAR - Fourth generation dairy farmer Jay Fogle is one of many Missouri milk cow operators who are struggling to... More >>
9 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 8:45:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - One person was killed in a crash late Saturday night on North Stadium Boulevard (State Route E) near... More >>
17 hours ago Sunday, October 21 2018 Oct 21, 2018 Sunday, October 21, 2018 12:47:00 AM CDT October 21, 2018 in News
HERMANN - One person was killed and several people were injured in a crash involving a trolley, according to the... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 11:57:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump announced Saturday that the US is pulling out of the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 5:11:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Nineteen members of Missouri Task Force One returned to Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters Saturday morning after... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 3:16:00 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been criminally charged days after a woman's body was found near Fellows Lake at... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:58:08 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield woman who killed her live-in boyfriend with a crowbar in 2017 has been sentenced to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 1:48:36 PM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A restored St. Louis prairie of native grasses and flowers is in bloom, but the nature... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 20 2018 Oct 20, 2018 Saturday, October 20, 2018 8:50:24 AM CDT October 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Sen. Claire McCaskill spoke about health care in Columbia on Friday at Laborers Local 955, as part of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 7:35:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - After realizing the underrepresentation of Hispanic business owners in mid-Missouri, three Hispanic professionals established a group of 12... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:49:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - This is the last week of the regular season and it's a cold one. Our game of... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 5:20:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA - Two Midwest companies issued separate food recalls this week for bacterial contamination concerns. Hy-Vee said its supplier,... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 4:53:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
CAMDEN (AP) — Toxicology tests show that a boater was drunk when he slammed into a bluff at Missouri's Lake... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:41:35 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Legion of Black Collegians and the FourFront Marginalized Student Council held a solidarity walk Friday to show... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 3:39:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Medical Association (MSMA), along with multiple medical associations, reaffirmed their opposition to the three... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 19 2018 Oct 19, 2018 Friday, October 19, 2018 2:50:00 PM CDT October 19, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 55°
7pm 53°
8pm 51°
9pm 49°
10pm 49°