Impact Fees

3 Accounting

3.6 Revenues

3.6.14 Impact Fees Impact fees are charges assessed by local governments against new development projects that attempt to recover the cost incurred by government in providing the public facilities required to serve the new development. Impact fees are only used to fund facilities, such as roads, schools, and parks, that are directly associated with the new development. They may be used to pay the proportionate share of the cost of public facilities that benefit the new development; however, impact fees cannot be used to correct existing deficiencies in public facilities. In Washington, impact fees are authorized under the Growth Management Act (GMA) (RCW 82.02.050, RCW 82.02.100), as part of "voluntary agreements" under RCW 82.02.020, under the Local Transportation Act (RCW 39.92.040), and as mitigation for impacts under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) (Chapter 43.21C RCW). GMA impact fees are only authorized for public streets and roads; publicly owned parks, open space, and recreation facilities; school facilities; and fire protection. Revenues (BARS 345.8X) should be recorded when the local government has received the resources. The statutory provision requiring unused impact fees to be returned to developers is a future transaction. When refunds are paid to developers, the activity will be recorded based on the functional expenditure coding of the activity. Impact fees should not be accounted for in a custodial fund.

Local governments are required to use these contributions for specific purposes (purpose restrictions); therefore, the government should report the resulting cash and investment balance as restricted until they are used.