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Goldwater Institute Appeals Ruling in Mesa Impact Fees Case

November 8, 2014

Phoenix–The Goldwater Institute announced today that it is seeking an appeal in its legal challenge against Mesa’s cultural facilities impact fee. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Douglas Rayes gave the Goldwater Institute an opening-round defeat in its challenge to the fee, which is imposed on all new homes. Cities have limited authority to impose impact fees so that development pays its own way. However, Mesa used the fees to pay for museums and performing arts centers, rather than the necessary public services strained by the impact of new development.

“No matter how desirable, cultural facilities are not a ‘necessary’ public service as required by the impact fee statute,” said Clint Bolick, Director of the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. “The City did not show that new development created a need for new cultural facilities.”

Despite that, Judge Rayes deferred to the City’s judgment. The Goldwater Institute believes it has a very strong and factual case, and after consultation with its client, the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, decided to appeal the ruling.

The Goldwater Institute is a nonprofit public policy research and litigation organization whose work is made possible by the generosity of its supporters.



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