Trey Watkins: Fees stifle small businesses

April 3, 2013 

Fees stifle small businesses

We recently began a retail project in Wake Forest on three acres. The impact fees exceeded $70,000!!

Our local governments have a structure that is ultra anti-investment and is destroying all hope for small businesses to grow or even survive. Most of these impact fees and privilege fees are based on calculations that can not be contested or refunded if the calculation proves to be dramatically off – such as water usage fees.

The DOT and city requirements to improve the roads in front of the property exceeded $200,000. They include a traffic signal, synchronized with a signal over 1,000 yards from the property, a 10-foot paved bike path, curbing and widening a side road that does not touch the property.

I want to have a good community but without small businesses that give back, employ locals, pay taxes, volunteer and spend locally, small towns are doomed. Local governments have no idea the pressure they are putting on small businesses.

Personally, I think jobs are more important to the survival of towns than fancy municipal buildings, roundabouts, ornate light poles and riot police gear.

Trey Watkins, Wake Forest

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