Today Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5923, also known as the Residential Construction Recovery Act, which helps residential builders defer payment of impact fees. The measure was sponsored by 8th District Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick.
“The middle and working-classes were hammered by the Great Recession and perhaps no industry was hit harder than construction,” said Brown, who chairs the Senate Trade and Economic Development Committee.
“While health care and energy sectors grew substantially over the last five years, jobs in housing and construction continued to shrink. Industries that paid in the middle of the wage spectrum generally lost jobs. And while the economy overall is back to pre-recession levels, it hasn’t added the roughly 10 million jobs needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.
“This new law is one of the ways that we can support our residential construction industry – by examining the payment and collection of impact fees and the role they play in dis-incentivizing new home construction.”
Under Washington’s Growth Management Act, counties and cities may impose impact fees on development activity as part of the financing of public facilities needed to serve new growth and development.
SB 5923 requires those local governments collecting impact fees to adopt a method for the deferred collection of impact fees for single-family construction. The system must allow an applicant for a building permit for a single-family detached or attached residence to request a deferral of the full impact fee payment until either:
- Final inspection;
- A certificate of occupancy is granted; or
- Closing of the first sale of the property.
“As we saw in the Tri-Cities, there is a cause and effect relationship between impact fees and building permits,” said Brown.
“Banks do not finance impact fees, so paying them at the start of construction creates difficulties for the builders. This new law will defer impact fees, not eliminate them, but defer them, giving our builders a bit of relief and helping the industry create much-needed new jobs.”