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"What price growth...?"

Developers help the local economy

People who have bought into the idea of "growth paying for itself" by raising impact fees and development costs haven't checked out the true benefits and costs of growth. Developers, whether they're builders of homes, offices or shopping centers, don't risk their time, money and reputations for the good graces of mankind. They do it for profit.

When government raises impact fees and service rates -- the so-called "growth paying for itself" mentality -- what they've really done is either raise the price of the finished product or prevented it from being built, denying it to some or all of us.

The risks developers take for profit is the driving force that creates jobs -- jobs in construction, government services, accounting, banking, administration, police and fire protection, and teaching. They're the catalyst for jobs for the truckers bringing in the lumber and pipes, and the clerks ringing up the nails and sheet rock.

When they work for profit, the community profits. When they don't, there are fewer jobs, sales and taxes collected. The community suffers.

Developers put themselves at risk to create something of value -- a place to live, work or shop -- places that pay their way not only during construction, but through ongoing property and sales taxes. The developer's profit motive creates jobs and revenues, and his development pays for itself many times over the burden it creates.

Jim Weston/Olympia


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Updated 2007/01/26 19:20:36

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