Cost Accounting in Local Government

Development Impact Fees

Accessory Dwelling Unit Impact Fee Calculation

In July of 2017, I wrote my first RCS article about Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in which I merely identified the differing types of ADUs.  In November of that year I wrote about the lack of municipal service demand information about ADUs needed to calculate an empirical stand-alone ADU development impact fee (DIF). In lieu […]

Development’s Winners and Losers

There are four players in the development game: developers, contractors, landowners and residents. Each plays a critical role, and each has goals that are not necessarily shared by the others.

The Five Findings for Development Impact Fees

Most every municipal finance officer is aware of the five findings (in Government Code §66000) required to adopt development impact fees.  If not, here they are: The purpose of the fee. The use of the fee. The relationship between the use of the fee and type of development paying the fee. The relationship between the […]

Do Development Fees Affect Home Sales?

At about every other Council or town-hall meeting I attend there is the question about whether development fees (planning fees, permit fees and impact fees) affect housing sales. More specifically, I am asked if the suggested fee increases deter housing sales and economic growth within that community. At the dais, I have little time to […]

Determining Development Impact Fee Land-Use Categories

The land-use database inventory is the spine of any Development Impact Fee (henceforth DIF) calculation effort.  It is a data table that identifies where in the “General Plan build-out” process your agency is at this point in time.  General Plan build-out is that theoretical point in time when a public planning agency has, for the […]

Framing the Case for Fees

As the typical reader of the RCS blog articles, you are a technically skilled government finance professional and can make a strong financial or accounting argument to support your professional recommendations. When you have a thoughtful and technically literate audience, you will win your case.  Sadly, the longer I’ve worked, the more I’ve noticed a […]

Circulation Infrastructure Nexus

In my early years of calculating development impact fees (henceforth DIFs) I had to experiment with different nexus factors for distributing the costs of the various infrastructures.  Some of the earlier ones back in the early 90’s were a little rudimentary but were improved after countless hours on the internet.  Over the next year I […]

Thirty Years of Impact Fee Experience

This last January 16th I watched with no small amount of pride while the Chino City Council adopted an updated set of development impact fees. It shouldn’t have been remarkable as I see such successful DIF adoptions seven or eight times a year.  What was remarkable was that the Chino City Council had done the […]

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