Realtors Take A Stance Against Extreme Water Quality Fee Increase

Friday, June 22, 2018 - by Geoff Ramsey, president, Greater Chattanooga Realtors

As the leading advocate for private property rights and housing issues in the Chattanooga region, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® is committed to protecting current and future home and business owners. Part of that responsibility is protecting the dream of homeownership and paying close attention to one of today’s hottest topics: housing affordability.

 

Chattanooga’s continued growth can positively impact our city and its residents.

But only if growth is handled responsibly and with integrity. For Chattanooga to continue thriving, it’s vital that there is cooperation and proper communication between local stakeholders and the City of Chattanooga.

 

The 2019 proposed budget for the City of Chattanooga includes stormwater/land development fees that could be devastating for housing affordability in our community. If approved as is, Chattanooga will have the highest water quality fees in Tennessee. Not only are the proposed fee increases extreme, stakeholders were not made aware of or included in conversations regarding potential increases.

 

I understand fees have not increased in some time so it may be necessary to support Chattanooga’s growth. However, proper communication needs to happen first so that the City and stakeholders can do our due diligence to make sure fee increases is the best decision for our city as well as it’s current and future residents.

 

Should these drastic increases pass, it is very likely that developers will seek opportunities outside Chattanooga and once again the City of Chattanooga will be left searching for new revenue streams.

 

There is no doubt that the proposed stormwater/land development fees will impact the citizens of Chattanooga. Although the City continues to say that the development community will be assessed the increased development fees. Fair enough. But let’s call a spade a spade. Ultimately, those fees will fall to those purchasing homes, goods, and services.

 

Let’s say a business owner with a property including storage units with 36 Equivalent Residential Units (ERUs) currently pays $4,147.20 in water quality fees. Under the City of Chattanooga’s proposed increase, that business owner will see that fee skyrocket to $6,607.44 in 2023.

 

To recoup the added costs, the owner will need to increase the cost of renting the units.

 

On Tuesday, June 19, at the City Council’s meeting, I shared the following request on behalf of Greater Chattanooga Realtors: “Vote against a budget with this fee increase included or remove the fee increase from the budget to allow the issue to be addressed separate from the City’s 2019 budget.”

 

We welcome the opportunity to work with the City of Chattanooga and other stakeholders regarding issues that impact development and homeownership. Issues such as an increase in stormwater and land development fees should be a conversation we have today, not four or five years from now when it will likely be too late to recover from the damage these increase fees may cause. As home prices continue to rise in the City of Chattanooga, the dream of homeownership will continue to dim for many.

 

The National Association of REALTORS’® tagline is The Voice for Real Estate®. As The Voice for Real Estate in Greater Chattanooga, I and my fellow Realtors promise you – our families, friends, neighbors – to continue to fight to protect the American dream of homeownership and housing affordability in our region.

 

So, City of Chattanooga, can we please take the proper time to discuss the potential need for stormwater/land development fee increases?

 

I respectfully request stakeholders be allowed time to do our due diligence in assessing this potential need of a fee increase. We owe it to our fellow citizens – we owe it to Chattanooga. Oh, and happy National Homeownership Month.



Riverview Home With 6,423 Square Feet Sells For $2,225,000

A house with 6,423 square feet of space in Riverview has sold for $2,225,000. The house at 1631 Hillcrest Road has four bedrooms and six baths. The sale was to John Foy Tr, Todd Phillips Tennessee Investment Services Trust from Ann Eliot Hon. A description of the home says, "This impressive Riverview home overlooking the Tennessee River is one of a handful of Neoclassical ... (click for more)

Best Western Heritage Inn Sells For $5.2 Million

The Best Western Heritage Inn on Lee Highway has sold for $5.2 million. The location at 7641 Lee Highway is by Bonny Oaks Drive. The sale was to Mkr Host Llc from Deep C Govan, Kaushalya D Govan. (click for more)

10-Term Congresswoman Marilyn Lloyd Dies

Marilyn Lloyd, who represented the Third District in Congress for 10 terms, has died at the age of 89. Ms. Lloyd got into politics after her husband, TV anchor Mort Lloyd, was killed in a plane crash in 1974. Mort Lloyd had won the Democratic primary to oppose Rep. Lamar Baker. The party chose her to go on the ballot in his place, and she defeated Congressman Baker. She was ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Couple Robbed Of Over $56,000 In Items; Believe Facebook Post May Have Tipped Off Thieves

A Soddy Daisy couple reported a theft at their residence netted thieves over $56,000 in items. The couple said the thieves may have picked their residence because they posted on Facebook that they were vacationing in Gatlinburg. Michael Lee Leming, 42, has been arrested in the case. However, only $10,600 of the stolen items were recovered. Leming is from Dunlap, but was ... (click for more)

Arming Teachers With Guns Will Be Too Dangerous - And Response (4)

Arming teachers with guns in the classroom, as Bill Lee proposes, would be the single most dangerous thing to happen to students in Tennessee history. Students and teachers in close proximity to loaded firearms daily? Across this state, in middle schools alone, there are probably hundreds of student/teacher conflicts a day. What if a student got hold of gun in a struggle with ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Scream ‘Sexual Assault!’

Candace Owens, a communications director for the conservative non-profit “Turning Point,” wasted not a minute’s time as the Democratic debauchery of Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh raced like a prairie fire across America. There is little doubt that many politicians -- on either side of the aisle -- play a little loose with the truth. But this Eleventh Hour attack on the ... (click for more)