Archive for Thursday, February 5, 2009

Excise tax amended to allow later payment

February 5, 2009

The De Soto City Council agreed Jan. 21 to take a second step to make its excise tax more developer friendly in what is a difficult time for housing developers.

The action came after Bill Thompson, the developer of the 62-home Cherokee West, requested the council allow him to pay his excise tax when the first building permit is pulled in the subdivision and not on the application for a final plat. The city collects excise taxes on new development to make street improvements needed to handle the added traffic from new homes and businesses.

The council agreed earlier this month to consider such requests from developers but had more concerns about a second request from Thompson to delay payment of half the excise tax owed until he built the first two homes in the development.

On hearing the request, council members expressed concern delaying the collection of the excise tax would put the city in a catch-up position to making needed improvements.

Moreover, City Attorney Patrick Reavey said the council had no authority to deviate from collecting the tax when the city ordinance required.To do so could make the excise tax vulnerable if it was challenged in court, he said.

Last week, Reavey presented an ordinance that addressed those concerns. It allows a developer to pay half the tax on application for the final plat and remaining half when application for a fifth building permit is made.

The ordinance also allows developers to request delay paying the first 50 percent of the excise tax until application for the first building permit is made.

The council approved the measure 4-0 with Councilman Ted Morse absent.

In other action, the council:

• Approved a bid from Chris George Home Inc. of $13,800 to tear down the old gas station at 83rd Street and Kill Creek Road and landscape the lot.

• Agreed to have the city parks and recreation crew install a mulched walking trail on the east side of Riverfest Park.

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