Thursday, April 15, 2021

GROWTH: Answer one question

| February 28, 2021 1:00 AM

Here’s how I feel about growth.

Let’s say I am a farmer. I have a hundred acres, my taxes are probably $10,000. I sell the land to a developer. He in turn plans 250 houses on the 100 acres (it’s probably more). He puts in streets, street lights, traffic signals, parks, etc.

Now this developer also has to pay for ALL the cost for streets, sidewalks and underground utilities. If they are not available he must pay to extend them to his development. All architectural drawings, all permits, fees, everything is paid!

Now the city or county comes along and charges you many thousands of dollars for the privilege of hooking up to water and sewer plus a hefty fee each month for use. That goes to maintain and expand these facilities. OK, so far it has cost the city nothing.

In today’s market, according to the front-page story in The Press on Feb. 22, the median price home is $503,000 in Coeur d’Alene. Let’s say the average home tax is $3,000. I suspect it will be more but using that for a base now multiply 250 homes by $3,000 and you have $750,000 income to city and county governments instead of $10,000 before development.

OK, so deduct $5,000 a month average on that 100 acres for police patrols, snow plowing, street sweeping, etc. That still leaves $690,000 over and above cost. The average homeowner pays around $45 a month for sewer plus for street lights and other charges. The sewer fees on that 250 houses is $12,000 a month alone.

So here’s my question. Why do our taxes have to go up because of development?


Coeur d’Alene