Even though the cuts may need to be bigger to bring business back to some areas, a supervisor said today.
During an annual report on the county's development impact fees, newly sworn-in Supervisor Kevin Jeffries pointed out that Mead Valley was paying "the highest of all fees" in his district, discouraging builders from moving ahead with projects in the economically depressed community.
"The fees are so high that it's the last place commercial opportunities come to," Jeffries said. "We need to strike a fine balance so that the area can enjoy some economic recovery."
Mead Valley lies a few miles south of Riverside, just west of Perris.
"I get that the DIF funds are for infrastructure," Jeffries said. "But we certainly want to encourage the right types of development that fits with the community and creates job opportunities."
The Board of Supervisors implemented the development impact fees program in 2001 to mitigate the effects of growth in the region. Fees are imposed on residential and commercial developers and used to underwrite a variety of public improvements, including street widening, jail expansion, library renovations and the construction of fire stations.
Jeffries, who resides in Lakeland Village, represents the first district, which includes, among other jurisdictions, the cities of Lake Elsinore and Wildomar. He was sworn into office today after being elected to the post in November.
Development impact fees can range from a few hundred dollars to $9,000 per acre, depending on the size and scope of a project, according to county Executive Office documents.
In 2009, the board chopped fees by 50 percent to spur development in the sputtering economy. The fee reductions have been extended every year since then, with the current "temporary" reductions set to expire in June.
According to the Executive Office, DIF revenue peaked at $36.2 million in the 2005-06 fiscal year but has steadily declined, falling to just over $1 million in the last fiscal year.
Over the next 10 years, the county will use DIF funds to help pay for $410 million in capital improvement projects, with jail expansion among the top priorities, Executive Office analyst Serena Chow said.