The Howard County Council recently passed legislation raising the school surcharge fee charged to developers building new residential housing.
From the current fee of $1.32 per square foot, the County Council unanimously approved Monday to increase the fee to $4.75 for 2020, $6.50 in 2021 and then $7.50. However, the $7.50 fee is subject to change, eventually becoming higher due to annual consumer price index adjustments.
The fee helps pay for the school system’s construction, renovation and maintenance costs.
Originally scheduled to increase to $6.80 per square foot, the council voted to lower the fee for the first two years and then increase the fee starting in the third year to pay back for the first two years.
Howard County first established the fee in 2004. According to the bill, the fee was “imposed on residential new construction for which a building permit is issued on or after July 1, 2004.”
Exemptions to the bill include affordable housing and senior housing units.