Governor Jay Inslee’s recent veto of ESHB 1652 demonstrated both his allegiance to the special interests that helped finance his election (Read: Teacher’s Union), and exposed his own hypocrisy as well. The bill would have deferred the payment of Impact Fees on construction until closing, instead of at the time of permitting as the law currently dictates.
The bill enjoyed wide bipartisan support, passing the House with 73 votes, the senate with 34, and back to the house with 83 votes in concurrence. It was a good bill that would have been an immense help to small and moderate-sized homebuilders and their suppliers, by easing the cash outlay required to begin construction. Local Impact Fees — which cover schools, roads, parks, etc. — vary, averaging around $2,500 per house, but are much higher in other parts of the state.
School districts have 10 years from the time it's collected to spend Impact Fee money, so the period between permitting and payment — essentially the time required to build a home, which averages somewhere between 60 and 90 days — is negligible to them in the overall scheme of things, but critically important to small builders.
Inslee stated all through his election campaign he would do whatever was necessary to help small business and spur the construction industry because it’s such a huge contributor to our state’s economy. Yet when he had the chance, he caved in to the greedy teachers union. Pathetic…