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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 6, 2013 at 7:06 AM

Impact-fee deferral bill

Schools rely on fees

Impact fees pay for a portion of the costs of schools needed to serve new residential development [“Editorial: Lawmakers should reverse impact-fee veto,” Opinion, May 27].

A goal of the Growth Management Act is to ensure that public facilities are available to support new houses. ESHB 1652, the impact-fee bill, would undermine this goal by changing the fee collection from the date of permit issuance until after closing. We appreciate Gov. Jay Inslee’s decision to veto this bill.

It is challenging for Snoqualmie Valley, Issaquah and many other school districts to keep pace with the demand for classrooms in our growing school districts. We do not receive adequate state assistance grants for school construction. Impact fees have been our lifeline and have enabled us to plan and prepare for the influx of students.

Since we place orders for modular classrooms in February, the proposed delay in fee payment (of seven to nine months) could translate into an entire school year of overcrowded classrooms.

Until a better program is in place for funding school construction, we need developers to pay impact fees in a timely manner. Without classroom space, it is difficult to provide students with the educational experience they need and deserve.

Gov. Inslee made the right decision to veto the impact fee bill.

G. Joel Aune, superintendent, Snoqualmie Valley Public Schools; Steve Rasmussen, superintendent, Issaquah School District

Comments | Topics: ESHB 1652, impact fees, impact-fee deferral bill

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