Council takes steps toward reauthorizing transportation impact fees

Published on October 27, 2022

The City Council voted unanimously this week to approve items related to the process of reauthorizing the Transportation Impact Fee Program.

The Council approved ordinance amendments and a 2022 study that includes land use assumptions, the Transportation Improvement Plan and maximum assessable rates.

What are impact fees?

Impact fees are a mechanism for funding the public infrastructure necessitated by new development. Across the country, they are used to fund police and fire facilities, parks, schools, roads and utilities. In Texas, the Legislature has allowed their use for water, wastewater, roadway and drainage facilities.

Since 1989, impact fees have been used to fund public water and wastewater improvements in the City of Fort Worth. Since 2008, they have been used to fund transportation infrastructure.

In the most basic terms, impact fees are meant to recover the increasing cost of the impact of each new unit of development creating new infrastructure needs.

Learn more about impact fees.

What Council approved, and what happens next

During the Tuesday council meeting, staff recommended the adoption of the 2022 study, which includes a land use assumption update to revise the service area boundaries to help make growth projections for each service area over a 10-year horizon.

In addition, the study identifies the ultimate boundaries of future Transportation Impact Fee service areas based on the City's planned service area boundary, which will be subject to Transportation Impact Fee Ordinance amendments as a component of the annexation process. The 2022 study did not add any additional service areas; however, two current fee service areas are becoming no fee service areas, bringing the number of fee service areas to 19.

Also included in the study, and approved by City Council, were the maximum assessable rates. This is the rate needed to construct the portions of the Transportation Improvement Plan that are based on the growth projections within five years. The rates are a calculation of construction cost increases, additional projects, and debt service within each service area. The maximum assessable rate in the 2022 study is a 37% increase from the 2017 study.

Discounts, definitions and other incentives were captured in the ordinance text amendments that City Council approved. These include clarifying the appeals process, modifying definitions to match city and state laws, and revising the land-use transportation discount to be the Mixed-Use/Multi-Modal Development name to match the intent of the discount.

These approved changes and updates to the Transportation Impact Fee Program will go into effect Nov. 1, 2022. In the coming weeks, staff will present City Council a set of new collection rates and an effective date for those new collection rates.



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