83% hike in city fees rankles Regina developer
A Regina land developer says he has no choice but to pass along a large increase in city development fees to people who buy his new homes.
Dundee Developments' Tom Shepherd said there is nothing he can do about the 83-per-cent fee increaseapproved by city council Monday, which could potentially add about $6,000 to the costs of a new home.
It won't stop his plans for building homes— including at a major new development near the airport— but it may slow the pace of construction, Shepherd said.
"You can't fight city hall, you know," he said. "Lord knows I've tried."
Until recently, developers paid $87,452 in servicing fees to the city for every hectare developed, a city hall report said. That compares to $158,242 per hectare in Saskatoon.
The increase approved Monday means Regina's servicing fees will increase by more than $70,000 per hectare.
Shepherd saiddevelopment fees were set for 2007 last Decemberbuthe had less than a day to respond tothe plan for higher fees.
It's not fair, he said, because his business plans were already set.
"I did all of my costs based on those [old] rates. Now, I'm being charged another $7 million."
A city report said the extra money is needed to help stave off a huge infrastructure deficit that will be accumulated as new areas are developed over the next 25 years.
Without the higher fees, taxpayers would be saddled with the extra costs, the report said.
Shepherd disputed the city's approach. "It's saying 'Oh, Tom Shepherd and Dundee are gonna raise your taxes by10 per cent!'No we're not," he said.
Regina city manager Glen Davies said the fee changes were designed to ensure everyone pays their fair share of development costs.
"The building industry and the development community have been the ones pushing for the quick pace so we're trying to make sure we respond to that," he said.
"And part of the response is identifying what the real costs of future development are."