Arizona builders ask for moratorium on fees

|  June 11, 2009 |

Homebuilders in Arizona are hoping that a proposed three-year moratorium on development impact fees will help stimulate the state construction community. City officials aren’t so sure.

This time I’m with the city officials. Most of these fees are going to water and wasterwater treatment plants, with additional funds for parks and other amenities. These have to be financed by somebody eventually. By now you’d think that homebuilders in the state with some of the biggest home price declines and highest mortgage default rates would have learned–you can pay now or you can pay later.

Throughout the greatest bubble in the country’s history, nobody in the housing industry or any of their associations said anything against the rising tide of liars loans, balloon mortgages and shady financing. By looking the other way, they helped drive their own industry off a cliff, and now everybody’s paying the price. Homebuilders, many of whom got their start as carpenters, ought to know better than most that when something’s built well you pay for it once. When somethings built poorly you pay for it three times: once when you build it, again when you tear it out and a third time when you rebuild it.

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