At Thursday’s Savannah City Council meeting, the council will vote on adopting an Impact Fee Ordinance. The Impact Fee would be levied on new construction to fund some city-provided services in that area. The Impact Fee on new home construction would add an extra $3,930.85 to the cost of a single-family home. If Savannah City Council votes to adopt the ordinance, the Impact Fee will be assessed for every construction project in the City of Savannah beginning in May 2023. The City will only be allowed to use the Impact Fees collected to provide infrastructure for essential public services like roads, recreation, and public safety. City staff has recommended a three year implementation that ramps the fees up from 50% to 100% over a two year period. For a breakdown of the Impact Fees up for consideration, please click here
With the rising cost of building materials and the continued interest rate increases, many believe imposing an additional fee on new construction could put homeownership out of reach for some families, thus making homeownership unaffordable. The Impact Fee, if adopted, could also become a barrier to entrepreneurs in Savannah who will have to come up with additional capital to build their businesses. These fees will also impact existing small businesses that need to expand their operations to address their growing business needs. They, too, will be saddled with thousands of additional dollars of Impact Fees payable to the City of Savannah.
Savannah Chamber President & CEO Bert Brantley was recently asked about his opinion on the City’s consideration of implementing an Impact Fee Ordinance by the Savannah Morning News:
“You’ve got the state that’s recognized this as an issue on the workforce housing side, and you’ve got funds that are being allocated into the workforce housing fund. You’ve got bills and legislation that are pending, some specifically on impact fees, but also on housing as well,” said Brantley, a former Kemp staffer. “There’s a lot of attention, and rightly so, being brought to the issue of affordability.”
Savannah City Council meets this Thursday, February 23, at 6:30 p.m. at Savannah City Hall. For your reference, click here for the council’s agenda for that meeting.
Also, for your consideration, click here for the City Manager’s memo concerning the Impact Fee Ordinance to the council.
City staff has brought the Chamber in on the Impact Fee conversation and they have asked for our input and feedback, if you feel that adopting an Impact Fee Ordnance could potentially be a barrier to home ownership and a barrier to the creation and expansion of small businesses, don’t hesitate to contact Mayor Van Johnson and members of Savannah City Council. Please let your voice be heard if you oppose this new fee. Click here for their contact information.