Thursday, June 20, 2013
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
October 16, 2012
DALLAS -- The Dallas City Council decided not to extend waivers on systems development charges (SDCs) on new housing at its meeting Monday night.
Troubling financial news regarding the city's sewer SDC fund resources (see story on Page 1A) may have been the deciding factor.
That, coupled with the approximately $158,000 the city waived in sewer SDCs was a cause for concern that resources wouldn't be available for future system expansion.
The discount, which began in February, waives the sewer SDC for new homes and cuts in half the water SDC on those homes less that 1,700 square feet.
Dallas Community Development Director Jason Locke said 40 permit applications were submitted since the program began. He said analysis of the program indicates it did have a positive impact on development. But his recommendation was to not continue the waivers until an SDC rate study is completed.
Interim City Manager Jon Nelson noted that property tax increases from more building may not make up for the loses in SDCs.
Advocates of continuing the waivers argued they played a role in jump-starting new home building.
Jim Williams, the chairman of the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee, supported an extension.
He said the reason for the stance is the home purchasing climate has changed so that buyers have to make larger down payments in mortgages. SDCs just add to the costs of buying a house.
Nancie Rogers, of Windermere Real Estate in Dallas, also favored an extension.
"It's been very refreshing to drive through the neighborhoods and see new construction, new families and the growth we haven't seen for a long time," she said.
Dallas resident and city employee Ron Lines, however, offered the city wait six to eight months and reconsider the waivers after assessing the impact.
"You have to think about the long-term affects," he said. "If you are not putting money away for future improvements and development, where are you going to get the money?"
After a staff report and discussion, the council took no action, allowing the waivers to expire immediately.