Our viewpoint

With shipments of new cars in short supply, many car dealerships in and around North Texas are charging automobile buyers up to 10% over and above the manufacturer’s suggest retail price.

In the real estate sector, even the most modest two-bedroom houses are going for tens of thousands of dollars more than just a year ago. Have you priced airline tickets or rental cars lately? If not, be prepared for sticker shock. Just about anywhere in today’s economy where demand is high, sellers are demanding premiums.

That’s why we’re pleased to see the Greenville City Council reinstate impact fees on real estate developers.

Back in 2017, the city decided to forego impact fees for developers, apparently as a way to spur growth in Greenville. Impact fees are a way to fund improvements and extensions of things such as roads, curb and gutter, water and wastewater lines, and drainage systems – all of which are necessitated by the construction of new neighborhoods.

Growth is the buzzword today in Greenville. Developers are flocking here and building thousands of nice homes in new neighborhoods. The additions to Greenville generally are welcome. Still, the arrival of all the development here is two-fold. Yes, developers are meeting a need for new housing, and many of their houses are beautiful, modern and efficient. These investments in Greenville, however, go beyond meeting a demand for new housing. Developers are here to make money, and we suspect they’re accomplishing their goal.

In today’s environment, realtors, too, are making money. So are the banks that arrange financing. The same goes for heavy machinery operators moving dirt and the engineers and architects who design new developments.  

Meanwhile, taxpayers and ratepayers are footing the bill for Greenville’s streets, sewer lines, water pipes and treatment plants – the foundational infrastructure essential to Greenville’s position as a modern, growing city. As property valuations rise, many taxpayers will be shouldering even more of the burden.

As one local businessman put it, it’s time for the developers making a bundle off Greenville’s development boom to “write a check.” It’s time to make the law of supply and demand work for taxpayers.

— Herald-Banner


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