In recent months the City of De Soto has taken positive steps to incentivize residential development in the community. On July 19, 2018, the City Council approved development agreements waiving the excise tax on two single-family residential projects. These agreements were essentially identical to a previous agreement approved in April waiving the excise tax on a third residential project that had been stalled since the economic downturn in 2008. In total, the three developments include 18 platted duplex lots, 94 platted single-family lots, and a 36-acre parcel that is slated for approximately 30 estate sized lots.
In addition, on August 2, 2018, the City Council passed an ordinance implementing a Neighborhood Improvement District (NID) encouraging redevelopment of blighted and dilapidated properties in targeted portions of the community. The NID offers excise tax and permit discounts of up to 90% for builders or owners who make significant aesthetic improvements to existing structures.
Finally, on September 20, 2018, the Council made permanent reductions to the City’s water and sewer system development fees, which apply to all new construction in the City. These reductions will save builders, and ultimately home buyers, approximately $4,600 on the cost of a typical single-family home.
According to City Administrator Mike Brungardt, “These residential incentives are part of the implementation of the City’s recently adopted Strategic Plan, which includes strategies to grow the City’s population in recognition that added rooftops drive other private investments like retail shopping and restaurants. The City Council wants to demonstrate that the City is ‘open for business’ and eliminate any City-related financial disincentives to housing construction.”
Brungardt points out that the total of all building permit fees and excise tax produce a fee total of about $11,200 for a single-family home on a typical ¼-acre lot. The recent excise tax waivers and permit discount program reduce that fee by about $7,300 (a 65% reduction) to a total of $3,880.