Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Woodstock Impact Fees - ouch!

If you wonder why building has crashed in Woodstock, other than because of the recession/depression we're in, you'll want to bone up on the Impact Fees assessed when a house is built or improved.

Before you are quick to slam the School District, check out the Fee schedule, which you can pick up at the Community Development office at Woodstock City Hall.

Let's say you are going to build "just" a small house - a two bedroom, single-family, detached house. The Impact Fee in 2012 is $12,083. That's TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS. Yeow!!!

Think you'll save some money by buying a townhouse? A two-bedroom, single-family, attached house carries as Impact Fee of $11,787! Going to scrimp a little and try to get by with one bedroom? OK, the Fee drops to $6,347.

Now, suppose you buy a two-bedroom, single-family, detached house and think, "Aha! I'll just finish a couple of bedrooms after I move in. No one will know."

Oh, really? The total Impact Fee now is $24,201. You think the City won't want to find out and collect the difference? You think the City will leave $12,118 ($24,201 - $12,083) on the table. Think again. It'll also be after the Permit fees that you didn't pay.

If you are buying a house in Woodstock, you'd better ask about any improvements that were made and whether Permit and Impact Fees were paid. You could get stuck for them. Your Realtor may have an obligation to tell you, or maybe the Realtor will avoid the issue by just not looking for problems that might kill the deal.

If you get zinged for $12,000 in City fees that were caused, but unpaid, by a previous owner, you might have some luck in court. Be sure your lawyer asked for your legal expenses as part of the settlement.

3 comments:

woodstockabdicate said...

How timely. the current impact fee structure has been in place for about fifteen years now. And you can still slam the school districts if you want because, like your taxes, the majority of the fee goes to them.

Gus said...

2012 Impact Fee for a 4-bedroom, single-family, detached house:

$3,395 water connection fee (14%)
$5,225 sewer connection fee (22%)
$7,303 school impact fee (30%)
$5,251 park impact fee (22%)
$ 999 library impact fee (4%)
$ 246 street impact fee (1%)
$1,495 police impact fee (6%)
$ 287 fire & rescue impact fee (1%)
$24,201 Total

John Lovaas said...

I would suggest looking at how much it costs have even basic maintenance done on a water or sewer line today, compare that to the water/sewer fees the City charges, and ask yourself: why, as a taxpayer, do I have to pay that? If I'm building a new home, why should Woodstock taxpayers have to pay to deliver water and sewer services to me?

Sounds like welfare for someone who has enough money to build a new 4 bedroom home. Their kitchen will very likely cost more than the entire fee structure. Do you have even the faintest idea how much a 4 bedroom home costs to build? How much does a lot for a four bedroom home cost, in 2012 dollars- not 1971 dollars, please.

Please remember that real estate developers and agents are about as useful to our society as prostitutes and their pimps- intelligent people know you don't need them, and all they cost you is money and trouble


As to the other fees- your 4 bedroom home will likely have a mother and father and four(minimum) children. Divide those fees by 6, and the per person impacts are very realistic.