Monday, February 12, 2007

Voluntary Transfer Fee Proposed

If the idea of a voluntary affordable housing transfer fee catches on, it could provide funding for the program far beyond the 10-year lifespan of the .125 percent sales tax increase and graduated development impact fee approved by voters last November.

That could be an important step in tackling a problem that needs to be seen in a long-term context, said County Commissioner Thomas Davidson, who is being credited with promoting the transfer fee as an alternative to the mandatory development impact fees.

"You hang a carrot out there," Davidson said. "You're doing future generations a big favor," he added, explaining that, over time, the voluntary .33 percent fee (as adopted by Summit County) could generate more revenue for affordable housing than the one-time impact fee.

Housing authority director Bonnie Osborn updated the county commissioners on the status of those discussions at a BOCC work session this week. She said Frisco and Breckenridge are considering the adoption of such a fee, already approved by the county. Silverthorne and Dillon have not taken any steps in that direction, she added.

The voluntary fee is meant to provide an alternative for builders. Instead of paying the graduated impact fee, they could choose put a deed restriction on the property that would stipulate the ongoing transfer fee. The first transaction would be exempt, but every subsequent sale of the property would be subject to the fee, Osborn explained.

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