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Impact Fees For Oklahoma City Developers Set To Go Up Next Year

Workers maneuver heavy machinery on the site of new construction at Main Street and Hudson Avenue in downtown Oklahoma City Tuesday.
Brent Fuchs
/
The Journal Record
Workers maneuver heavy machinery on the site of new construction at Main Street and Hudson Avenue in downtown Oklahoma City Tuesday.

Oklahoma City developers only have a few days left to file their projects at City Hall before new impact fees go into effect.

The fees will produce about $8.7 million per year toward infrastructure projects, and The Journal Record's Brian Brus reports the timing coincides with a projected tax revenue shortfall that's prompted mid-fiscal-year-job cuts and across-the-board budget tightening:

Beginning Jan. 1, homebuilding permit fees will range from 77 cents to 92 cents per square foot, depending on overall size and location of the structure. Commercial projects will be charged 48 cents to $4 per square foot. One of the biggest differences in the two types of rates is that commercial developers won’t be expected to support parks, a major point of contention earlier this year. Lower rates will be found in the already-developed urban core, with higher rates on the fringes of the city. As an example, city spokeswoman Kristy Yager said, permit fees for the BOK Park Plaza Tower now under work at Main Street and Hudson Avenue downtown would have increased by about $500,000 under the new guidelines.

Yager said building applications City Hall receives before January 1 will be grandfathered under the current impact fee structure.

Assistant City Manager Dennis Clowers said City Hall had been working on adjustments nearly a decade ago, but the nationwide recession pushed those talks aside. Now the fees are needed more than ever. “We’ve relied on GO (general obligation) bonds historically to provide funding for infrastructure funding … which is primarily street widening and not resurfacing so much,” he said. “And we’re just not able to keep up with the cost of the city’s growth anymore. These fees are not new; they’re used nationwide, and they’re needed in Oklahoma City.”

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