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Impact Fees and Colorados Water and Wastewater Utilities Presented by: Jason Mumm, Sr. Consultant, Integrated Utilities Group Carol Malesky, Sr. Consultant,

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Presentation on theme: "Impact Fees and Colorados Water and Wastewater Utilities Presented by: Jason Mumm, Sr. Consultant, Integrated Utilities Group Carol Malesky, Sr. Consultant,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Impact Fees and Colorados Water and Wastewater Utilities Presented by: Jason Mumm, Sr. Consultant, Integrated Utilities Group Carol Malesky, Sr. Consultant, Integrated Utilities Group

2 Agenda What are Impact Fees 2 Significant Legal Developments –Krupps v. Breckenridge San. Dist. –Senate Bill 15 Major Concepts & Methodologies Aligning Policy with Methods

3 What is an Impact Fee? Different Names – Same Purpose Legal and Technical Definitions The Simple Version Capital vs. Revenue

4 Different Names – Same Purpose System Development Charges System Development Fees Tap Fees Impact Fees Construction Fees Improvement Fees Buy In Fees Plant Investment Fees Others?

5 The Legal Definition Colorado Revised Statutes says impact fees meet the following criteria: –Legislatively adopted –Generally applicable to a broad class of property –Intended to defray the projected impacts on capital facilities caused by proposed development

6 A Technical Definition From AWWA …a contribution of capital toward existing or planned future back-up plant facilities necessary to meet the service needs of new customers to which such fees apply…

7 The Simple Version One time capital charge, Assessed to new connections to the water and/or sewer system, Aimed at recovering costs associated with providing facilities/infrastructure

8 Capital vs. Revenue Reported as contributed capital and NOT as operating or extraordinary revenue

9 Recent Legal Developments Colorado Supreme Court (Krupps v. Breckenridge San. Dist.) Senate Bill 15 (CRS 29-20)

10 Krupps v. Breckenridge Impact fee must be: – reasonably related… to the costs of providing facilities –…fairly calculated and rationally based… –And, must demonstrate a reasonable…and consistent application Impact fee that meets these criteria does not constitute a takings under Nollan/Dolan

11 Krupps v. Breckenridge Other Notes District had codified policy: growth pays for the full costs of growth –Noted by the Court –Importance related to the method used to calculate the fee Breckenridge case is expected to serve as legal precedent in neighboring jurisdictions –California –Oregon

12 Senate Bill 15 (CRS 29-20) Amends Title 29 of the Colorado Constitution –Expressly allows municipalities under Title 29 to assess an impact fee –First time authority has been expressly granted –However, this is also the first time limitations on impact fees have been expressly given by Colorado legislature

13 Limitations and Ambiguities of CRS Impact fees are limited in order to: Prevent double-charging on a single project Protect low income projects Protect projects already in progress Ambiguities are an invitation to court challenges. Some examples: Can capital equipment be included? Is the issue truly of statewide concern?

14 General Recommendations There is no true grandfather clause. Existing impact fees are allowed. However, they must be made to comply with CRS s criteria and should be carefully examined. Special Districts may be impacted in the near future with similar legislation amending Title 32. While the bill does grant permission to the use of impact fees, it also places new constraints on them.

15 Major Methodologies The Buy-In Method The Replacement Method The Market-Based Method

16 The Buy-In Method New Customers Existing Facilities New Facilities The Full Costs of Growth

17 Buy-In Method Fee Reimbursement Fee Function Existing Infrastructure Improvement Fee Capital Costs Assoc. With Growth

18 Buy-In Method Existing Equivalent Taps Existing Equity Reimbursement Fee

19 Buy-In Method Total Growth-Related Capital Improvements Planned Improvement Fee Projected No. of Equivalent Taps at CIP Build Out

20 Buy-In Method Results New customers pay reimbursement fee, which brings their investment in the system on par with other customers. New customers finance ALL capital improvements required to serve them with no additional contributions from existing customers. Result: new customers pay the full cost of growth – but have relatively more equity in the system on an equivalent tap basis.

21 The Replacement Method Examines the cost required to reconstruct the entire system –To serve all existing customers, and –All new customers (ie. Growth) Divide the cost of the reconstruction by total equivalent taps served in the new system

22 Replacement Method Results New customers pay a fee that equates their relative level of capitalization with that of existing customers –Measured in current dollars –Without allowances for actual depreciation At the end of the build-out period, new customer equity per equivalent tap is on par with that of the existing customers

23 The Market-Based Method Compares tap fees of neighboring or other similar utilities Not generally recommended because –Is not consistent with Breckenridge guidelines –Inconsistent with CRS Only used when NO financial or system data is available for analysis

24 Market-Based Method Results A fee is established, but –No correlation to actual costs –Lack of rational basis makes it difficult to defend Possible applications –Economic incentives? –Affordable housing?

25 Aligning Methods to Match the Policy Major Policy Objectives Growth pays for the full costs of growth Equity Economic development Affordable housing Compliance with applicable law

26 Methods Match Policies

27 General Observations There is no preferred method, but –Of the three, the Buy-in and Replacement Methods are the most acceptable general approaches –The Market-Based Method is to be avoided Selection of method is dependent on larger policy objectives Matching the method to the policy is important in establishing a proper fee

28 General Observations (cont.) Legal challenges to impact fees continue to be a concern/issue nationwide, but particularly in the growing population centers in the western U.S. Municipalities and Special Districts should closely examine existing and proposed impact fees for legal compliance.

29 Questions and Answers Integrated Utilities Group, Inc 5200 DTC Parkway, Suite 530 Greenwood Village, CO (303) |

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