Wednesday night, the Mammoth Town Council voted to cut Developer Impact Fees in half.
Through the real estate boom of recent years, the Developer Impact Fees (DIF) in Mammoth Lakes had been among the highest in the country. Fees for a single family home were set at about $35,000 under the old fee schedule. The Council had enacted an interim DIF schedule that cut the fees for a single family home to about $12,000. Under this new official fee schedule, fees on a single family home are set at just over $15,000.
Developer Impact Fees are designed to offset costs to the town created by new development. The fees pay for facilities like streets, storm drains, a new facility for the Police, recreation facilities, and the airport.
During the real estate bubble years when major construction was constant in town, and large hotel projects like the proposed Ritz Carlton appeared to be inevitable, the town leaned heavily on developer fees to pay for projects. With this reduction in fees, the money for Town facilities will have to come from somewhere else. Now the plan is to use bonds, grant money and Transient Occupancy Tax, the hotel bed tax that has long been the bread and butter of the budget for the Town of Mammoth Lakes.
One aspect of the new fee schedule allows developers to negotiate for lower fees if their project is expected to generate bed taxes for the Town.
The Council approved the new fees 5-0.