Lincoln City Council Extends Impact Fee Freeze

The Lincoln City Council voted 4-3 Monday night to continue its freeze on impact fees.

Since 2007, impact fees in Lincoln have been frozen without any adjustment for inflation on new construction homes.

Impact fees, paid by developers, cover a portion of the cost of new infrastructure, like new roads, water mains, and sewer lines.

Under the current system, when a home builder wants to build houses on the edge of town where there are no streets or sewers, Lincoln asks the home builder to pay impact fees that cover some of the costs needed to build the infrastructure needed. Developers pay for about 40 percent of the costs and the city uses tax money to cover the rest.

Mike Benker of the Homebuilders Association of Lincoln supports the committee's decision to continue the freeze.

"For affordability on housing, but furthermore, we're all volunteering and trying to assist the city council, the mayor's office and the citizens in coming up with a solution to this problem," Benker said. "We're willing to commit ourselves to participating in discussions to involve all of our community."

Greg Baker is part of the Everett Neighborhood Association, and said six years is long enough, making note that fees have been frozen since 2007.

"That cost of living adjustment for the impact fees affects every taxpayer in Lincoln," Baker said. "Whether it's the old part of the city or newer areas, that amount that's not getting covered is coming out of the taxpayer's pocket."

Impact fees will remain frozen until at least July 2014.

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