What is an impact fee?

In 1990, the Georgia Development Impact Fee Act (DIFA) was enacted into law, and it significantly affected the way local governments in Georgia pay for public services and facilities. Impact fees are one-time fees charged to land developers to help defray the costs of expanding capital facilities to serve new growth. DIFA enables local governments to charge new development for a proportionate share of infrastructure capacity it requires. However, the Act places restrictions on the categories of capital facilities for which new development can be charged. It also establishes rules under which impact fees must be calculated, collected, expended, accounted for, and administered.

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1. What is an impact fee?
2. What was Savannah’s process in establishing impact fees?
3. How does the phased implementation process work?
4. What exemptions are available for affordable housing?