Pending legislation may change Wisconsin’s impact fee law and land division law (again).

Municipal Law Alert, July 2007

2007 Assembly Bill 341 was introduced in the Wisconsin legislature on May 16, 2007, with bipartisan support. If passed, this bill will make the following changes to the current impact fee law:

1. Timing of impact fee payment. Impact fees would have to be paid by the earliest of the following occurrences:

a. issuance of building permit

b. issuance of occupancy permit

c. the 60th month after final approval of the development

d. prior to any of these three occurrences, if mutually agreed by developer and municipality. (Note that the absence of such an agreement could not be a basis for the municipality to reject the development.)

2. Lengthening of time to use collected impact fees. Impact fees would have to be used within ten years (rather than the current seven-year limit) of the date of collection. The three-year extension of the limit (thus resulting in a 13 year limit) would be retained if the municipality passes a resolution which included detailed written findings specifying the extenuating circumstances or hardship justifying the extension.

3. Clarifying retroactive application of the law. Impact fees collected prior to April 10, 2006 (the effective date of the prior amendment containing the seven-year limit) must be used prior to the following deadlines:

a. for impact fees collected prior to 2003: December 31, 2012.

b. for impact fees collected from January 1, 2003, through April 9, 2006: ten years from the date of collection.

4. No surcharges on professional fees. Municipalities would be prohibited from charging developers for professional services (legal, engineering, etc.) in excess of the amount paid by the municipality for those services.

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