HBA of Greater Springfield builder member Doug Pitts and HBA CEO Matt Morrow both were quoted in Saturday’s Springfield News-Leader article about the city of Rogersville’s recent bold move to reduce water and sewer impact fees.
Rogersville Mayor Jack Cole said in the article that response to Rogersville’s move already has been strong:
Cole said there’s no cost to the city whether anyone takes advantage of it or not.
“We really didn’t see a risk,” he said. “Last year, we might have had only six houses built, had it not been for a major grant that a developer got…, but right now we have 38 homes under construction.”
Pitts pointed out the positive impact the move could have on residential construction:
Builder Doug Pitts, of Rogersville, said the town has done something to attract construction that will, in turn, increase its revenues overall. They’ll get their money back that way instead of just up front.
“It’s geared more towards the lower-end spec home market … because it’s a bigger percentage of the total cost of a house,” said Pitts, who specializes in higher-end custom homes.
“By reducing that up front fee, it should make a big difference in residential construction.”
Morrow shared findings from last year that indicate residential construction – even without onerous fees – represents an economic boon to communities. And its absence can be just as devastating:
“It should have a very positive effect on Rogersville and, honestly, I think it’d be a really great example for other communities to follow,” Morrow said.
In a recent professional study commissioned by HBA on the overall economic impact on housing in the area — using local data, fee structures, tax rates — it was found there are actual costs to a community when development takes place. But the economic benefits of development far outweigh the cost — developments more than pay for themselves, Morrow said.
“What it ultimately means is when we’re building more homes, everything else works better too … it’s what a lot of communities around here are feeling right now but have a hard time putting their finger on,” he said.
“We’ve demonstrated statistically that growth brings business, jobs … and it more than pays for itself without any help from fees.”
Read the FULL ARTICLE on news-leader.com: