Lindsay City Council approves fees agreement
Porterville does not agree, has sued county over issue
Lindsay is the latest city to enter into an agreement with the county paving the way for development impact fees collected within city boundaries for the county.
“A memorandum of understanding [MOU] is an agreement... on impact fees and building fees,” said Tulare County Supervisor Chairman Allen Ishida who represents the Lindsay area.
Part of the agreement is for cities to collect transportation and building impact fees to fund countywide projects. Lindsay approved the signing of the MOU at Tuesday’s council meeting.
“The MOU is basically the same with all the cities,” said Ishida, who added that there are some variations within the fees.
“As the population grows, we need to improve our roads and transportation in the county so that’s why there’s two different fees set up,” stated Ishida.
However, he could not pinpoint a date when the fees would be imposed. Building fees will only be on new buildings.
“On any new construction in Lindsay, Lindsay will collect a fee per square foot and turn it over to the county for capital improvement and regional road improvements,” said Ishida, who added that the amount of the building fee was one-time only.
At this time the fees are unknown. However, according to Ishida, the county and the cites will work together to determine the rate of the aforementioned fees of the building and the road fees.
In regards to the road fees they will be different.
“The road fees will be different depending on what zone you’re in,” said Ishida.
Lindsay is the fourth city in the county to agree to the MOU that has been in discussion for more than five years. Also adopting the MOU have been Visalia, Dinuba and Exeter. Porterville has not approved the MOU and has sued the county over its General Plan Update that calls for the MOUs.
Ishida said the fees are necessary.
“As our population grows, we will need new facilities, including public safety and social services. The more people that live in Tulare County, the larger our facilities needs to be or we need new facilities to provide those services.” Ishida added that the Tulare County Association of Governments (TCAG) would be in charge of disbursing the road fees and would determine how the fees are used for projects within the county.
Also included in the MOU is an agreement for the city to pay the county 8 percent of any transient occupancy tax for hotels and an increased 3 percent of the city’s general sales tax revenue.
Mayor Pro Tem Esteban Velasquez said of the transient tax, “It’s not really going to affect us that much.”
He said by agreeing to the MOU, it showed Lindsay was willing to work with the county.
The Home Builders Association of Tulare/Kings Counties filed a lawsuit on Nov. 5 regarding the development and impact fees.
“The existing people paid nothing for the existing facilities, which were paid for by the people of California,” said Bob Keenan, head of the builder’s organization.
The association says in the lawsuit that there is no legal basis for cities to collect fees for the county. County officials disagree.