Impact fees refunded
By Michael Prochaska
The Madison City Council voted 4-1 Monday to return $56,922 to city businesses and residents who paid an impact fee between 2009 and early 2012, while the ordinance was in effect.
The city council voted earlier this year to terminate its impact fee ordnance after the majority of council members considered the ordinance to have a negative impact on the city’s economic climate.
Council members had four choices Monday night, which ranged from using partial funds collected to fund specific projects to reimbursing the general fund for a pre-ordinance study.
Ultimately, the council agreed to refund the total amount of fees collected minus a sum of about $700 that, by law, the city has to keep, said City Accountant Karen Guinn.
If a business owner or homeowner was not the individual who directly paid the fee, Guinn said, then the payer has the right to sign the written amount over to the business or homeowner.
Councilman Michael Naples, who made the dissenting vote, said he was in favor of partially reimbursing the general fund and using the residual amount for improvements to Washington Park.
“I still think it was a good thing, and the city eventually would have seen substantial savings to the individual taxpayers,” he said. “I do believe the general fund should be reimbursed.”
Councilman Rick Blanton said it would be punitive for those who paid the fees for the city to keep a portion of the revenue.
Printed in the August 16, 2012 edition