INGLEWOOD – The Inglewood City Council unanimously updated the Master Fee Schedule during the Dec. 7 city council meeting. The new fees are restricted funds that can only be used towards capital improvement projects as outlined in Assembly Bill 1600.
The Master Fee Schedule added Transportation Impact (TIF) and Water Connection Capacity (WCC) Fees, which are assessed on a sliding scale.
The TIF is applied to new development based on the amount of traffic the city expects it to generate. There are eight categories the fees are applied to: single-family, multi-family, commercial tier 1 (retail stores), commercial tier 2 (auto centers, clothing/gym), commercial tier 3 (restaurants, grocery/liquor stores), office space, industrial, and institutional/civic.
The WCC fees are for new development that has to be hooked up to the city’s water source as it directly impacts the entire system.
Residents submitted comments to the City Clerk’s office which were not read during the public hearing as required.
Inglewood Mayor James Butts responded after the hearing ended.
“It’s typical of these same two people and their comment was: is the TIF going to be applied retroactively to SoFi Stadium and the Intuit Dome,” said Butts. “No, it’s not. It’s not going to be applied retroactively to the Forum from 1967 or Hollywood Race Track for 70 years.”
“In this country you can’t pass ex post facto laws,” said Butts. “These people do this to generate animus to entities that have invested billions of dollars to be here.”
Residents believe that’s not true.
“Actually, there are ex post facto laws like rent control which was applied retroactively in the County,” wrote SouthyBayStef. “It’s about setting a date to when it’s retroactive.”
Other residents aren’t happy that the two largest venues, having the most impact on the traffic, are exempt from the fees.
“I think its egregious and completely irresponsible to exempt developments that are the main catalyst of traffic in the City, who are the main benefactors of the Inglewood Transit Connector,” said Marvin McCoy. “The developers are depending on Inglewood taxpayers to foot the bill which means we are paying for this project, which contradicts what the mayor and this council have been saying.”
The mayor is adamant that it is the resident’s responsibility to pay for its infrastructure, not developers.
“We are working every day to position the city so there is minimal impact on the residents that are here to pay the bills of prosperity,” said Butts. “That’s why the new fees were come up with to charge people that are coming into the city now.”
Residents are concerned that the new fees are a result of one of the tax increase proposals failing on the Nov. 3 ballot.
“If they can’t pass a tax increase, they just add “fees” to other things and the money just disappears,” said Raymond Nowlin.
In September 2015, the Public Works Department requested $5,100,000 from the City’s reserves for the water department to make capital improvements.
The Public Works department requested water rate increases December 17, 2019, and made note that although the water department agreed to make bi-annual re-payments to the City, towards the loan, they had not paid back the loan and didn’t expect to pay it within the next five years.
During the Public Hearing held Dec. 7, the city made no public statements on the status of the loan or if the new revenue would be used to pay back the City’s reserves, or go towards capital improvement projects, which could include the ITC.
No projections were provided on how much revenue the new fees were estimated to generate.