Regarding the comments of the president of the Queen Anne's County Chamber of Commerce (Readers' views, March 6) on my letter (Readers' views, Feb. 9) on the chamber's position on proposed impact fees:
Francis H. Roudiez mentioned that my views were misleading and fabricated. The facts are: The chamber requested the county commissioners to not impose the county consultant's recommended impact fees on commercial development. And one suggestion for other sources of income was a $200 per household fire tax.
Mr. Roudiez stated that the chamber supports an increase in the residential fees so that new development pays for itself and that it seeks "a stronger commercial base that will help ease the tax burden on residents." Mr. Roudiez, you cannot have it both ways. The bottom line: You feel new residents, but not new businesses, should pay.
The increase in fees recommended on single-family homes would be $30 *per month on a 30-year mortgage at 7 percent.
The total fee recommended on retail development would mean an expense of 1 cent to 1.5 cents per foot per month over a 10-year lease. A typical chamber business of 2,000 square feet would have a total allocated impact fee of $10 to $15 per month. For larger developments, such as warehouses or office space, the monthly impact would be less than 2 cents per square foot.
While it's possible that a $30 increase in monthly payment could disqualify some home buyers, it is hard to believe the monthly allocated impact fees will discourage commercial growth.
I believe all new development should pay its own way.
BENJAMIN F. CASSELL
Published March 30, 2002,
The Capital, Annapolis, Md.
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*Note from KIDL: Mr. Cassell's letter was written before the Commissioners proposed lower fees on 3/19/02. The new fee will cost a homeowner less than $28 more on a 30 year mortgage at 7 percent. Commercial rates were also lowered. See this link for the story in the Star Democrat: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=3634185&BRD=2101&PAG=461&dept_id=392183&rfi=8
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