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Cary Looks at Boosting New-Home Impact Fees

Posted December 19, 2007
Updated December 20, 2007

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— New homes help build a strong economy in Cary, but the town's new mayor says the fee that builders pay on each home will not be set in stone.

“There's cost associated with all growth, and if it's not picked up by the developer, it will be picked up by taxpayers,” Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said Wednesday.

Impact fees help cover that cost, and the town council voted at a recent work session to increase the transportation impact fee by 25 percent.

That is an average of $370 more per new home.

“We were trying to accomplish staying competitive and taking some burden off our existing citizens,” Weinbrecht said.

As part of the effort, developer fees for water and sewer could go up 40 to 75 percent. Only impact fees in the downtown area would stay about the same as a way to encourage growth there.

Cary's impact fees have been on a roller coaster ride. In 2002 under Mayor Glen Lang, they went up. In 2004 under Mayor Ernie McAlister, they went down to 1999 levels.

Developers say that increasing fees was a mistake Cary made back in 2002 and would be again.

“Cary is the model across North Carolina in terms of what you can do in harming the housing industry and economy as well,” said Tim Minton, executive vice president of the Homebuilders Association of Raleigh-Wake County.

The association says builders went elsewhere after the last increase, taking income from jobs and materials out of Cary.

Some downtown business owners say Cary's housing growth grows their businesses.

“The growth has been good for us, but beyond us, I think the growth has been good for the town,”Paul Ashworth said.

The council may see things otherwise.

The Cary Town Council will hold a public hearing next month on raising the impact fee, then make a final decision.


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  • Sumo Vita Dec 21, 2007

    "Increased housing costs will drive up the rest of the homes and increase my tax value and my house payment"

    It will drive up your tax value.. 8 years later, IF your home has ALSO appreciated proportionately in value.

    Otherwise, by your logic we should all be aspiring to low-paying jobs, because after all that would keep our taxes low!

    Is this smoke-and-mirrors reasoning just blindingly obvious to me?

    nrasbill: you said you're against impact fees from an economic standpoint. Whose economic standpoint? Homeowners or builders?

  • richard2 Dec 20, 2007

    Builders don't pay the fee. The homebuyer pays the fee. Why is that hard to understand?

  • flashlight Dec 20, 2007

    Can't afford to live in Cary? It could also be argued that people move to Cary because they can't afford ITB Raleigh...

  • PDMARTIN Dec 20, 2007



    I always get a good laugh at those of you who bash Cary, I live here because its close to the highways and to RTP. I is apparent those who bash Cary are those who cannot afford to live here"

    That sounds exactly like the "elitist" attitudes most people in Cary already have. For all those who moved to Cary to make it the PIT that it is, you bring all the bashing upon yourselves with that kind of mentality. Let's put a bubble around Cary so they don't have to put up with "the common folk".

  • HockeyRules Dec 20, 2007

    ANYWHO...Can I say Joke?

  • skidkid269 Dec 20, 2007

    Y'all are getting mean! How about we ignore the idea that this is happening in Cary (as well as our feelings for Cary), since it is being considered everywhere. I like impact fees because it helps cover the costs that come with new development. True, more development increases the tax base, but it doesn't pay for the new school or wider highway. That tax base will only pay to maintain those items. The impact fee should be used to add the traffic light and a turn lane for the subdivision, build the school since the ones we have are overcrowded. I surprised the developers are so opposed to this, especially since they'll just pass the cost on the the customer.

  • nrasbill Dec 20, 2007

    AnyWho, Caps lock is right above the shift. Press it and it'll turn off.

    By the way, I'm no yankee. I grew up on my family farm just outside Chapel Hill, went to the same high school my grandmother went to, and have lived here all my life. My family has been in North Carolina since they helped colonize the coast. Thanks.

    I must say, all this name calling and sensationalism is less than productive. I'm against the impact fees from an economic standpoint and ideological standpoint, if folks would like to discuss the issue on those fronts, I'd love to hear from you!

  • I guess I will just type this Dec 20, 2007

    silvfx, such a condescending post, you didn't have to tell us where you were originally from, or where you currently live; we saw it a mile away...

  • I guess I will just type this Dec 20, 2007

    Who are "you people" lizard? Sounds like you are generalizing an entire group of people for some reason. Probably a Yank that doesn't like us generalizing about "you people" either... You can always move where "us people" aren't around; maybe you could go to a business school and live since your economical mind is far superior than any of "us people"... jerk

  • Beachnut Dec 20, 2007

    The late nineties under Mayor Booth saw modest impact fees. They escalated under Mayor Lange, then went down dramatically under McAlister. They're heading up again under Weinbrecht. Meanwhile Cary's population escalated from 60,000 to 115,000 over the same timeframe. Isn't it pretty clear that impact fees (or lack thereof) have had no impact on the rate of growth in Cary? Why do we have so many here saying that if Cary raises impact fees the developers will quit and go elsewhere when the evidence shows clearly the opposite? I can just as easily argue that developers LIKE high impact fees because it means that area is more desirable and will justify their higher selling price.