The City of
Bill Burckart, who assisted Bisbee in drafting the legislation, spoke on behalf of the Northwest Arkansas Homebuilders Association and dismissed the City’s proposed fee study. “I don’t think equitable is what we’ve seen in this study,” he said. Instead, he suggested a Developers’ Free Lunch Plan, using the city sales tax revenues allocated for road improvements caused by growth for a special capital improvement fund that also would subsidize the water and sewer costs added by developers. The impact fees would cost homeowners $18 a month, and he said that would make housing unaffordable. The average price of a home in
Tom Gould, the City’s fee consultant, defended the fees as a reasonable way to finance growth. Without impact fees, capital construction costs created by new development would be financed exclusively through rate increases, which would put the burden of growth on all residents, not just those who have created it, he said. “Most people look at impact fees as a way of growth paying for growth.”
Developers in Rogers should establish a Benton County branch of the Free Lunch Club created by Fayetteville developers and realtors to dump their development costs on existing residents in older homes.