New Level Two developer fees coming

School officials and the states building industry have worked out an agreement that will likely generate additional dollars for school construction beginning in January, 2009.

A bill pending in the Legislature by Assemblywoman Anna Caballero, D-Salinas, would make significant changes to Level Two developer fees.

Supporters of the bill have long complained that the current law links funding criteria to out-of-date requirements that too often leave districts shortchanged when it comes to the true cost of building a school. In general, AB 2173 would broaden the qualification requirements for districts to participate in Level Two funding.

Among other changes, the measure would:

·Expand to eight years up from four the time within which districts are required to have put a local bond measure on the ballot and received at least 50 percent plus one vote.

·Modify the calculation for the amount of developer fees to be collected to include other grants a district might receive from state and federal sources.

·Add a qualifying condition, aimed at smaller districts, for a bonding capacity of $5 million or less.

·Allow a timeframe going back 10 years double the existing 5 years to determine student generation rates.

The bill, which passed off the Assembly floor in May and remains pending in the Senate, had the support of the building industry noteworthy given the deep slump in that sector of the economy.

Richard Lyon, spokesman for the California Building Industry, said that they were initially opposed to the bill but after working with the assemblywoman, a compromise was worked out.

This will allow districts generally to access addition dollars for infrastructure that is critical to the community, he said. If we dont have schools when our homes are ready to occupied, we have a difficult time marketing.

To read AB 2173 visit: more