Valley News -

Sen. Stone's mitigation fee transparency bill signed by governor


Last updated 9/13/2018 at 9:24am

RIVERSIDE - A Riverside County lawmaker's bill seeking to make the process of spending impact fees collected from developers more transparent was signed into law on Wednesday, Sept. 11, by the governor.

Sen. Jeff Stone, R-La Quinta, touted SB 1202 as a measure to keep government entities honest in how they utilize the development impact fees or DIFs.

Localities statewide are currently required to file annual and five-year reports on fee collections and expenditures. Under Stone's bill, if any agency fails to meet its reporting requirements for three consecutive years under the Mitigation Fee Act, the agency will face a mandatory independent audit for which it will have to pay.

"This bill will have a positive impact when it comes to local agencies that continue to collect mitigation fees for numerous years in a row but do not complete the necessary report," the senator said.

According to Stone, a recent survey showed that almost one-third of localities failed to meet reporting requirements in recent years.

In Riverside County, DIFs, originally implemented under a 2001 ordinance, are collected as part of the county permitting process for the construction of homes, office buildings, apartment complexes and other private facilities in unincorporated areas. Revenue cannot be spent to meet discretionary needs, per state law, but instead must be set aside for infrastructure projects.

Impact fee revenue has gone toward jail expansions, roadway grade separations, fire station and correctional facility expansions, interchange improvement projects, and parks.

Fees are collected within 20 designated county service areas and can range from a few thousand dollars to more than $45,000 per unit or acre.


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