Dallas Builders Association Director of Government Affairs David Lehde testified Aug. 8 before the Texas Senate's Business and Commerce Committee in support of House Bill 7.
The legislation would require entities with tree mitigation fees to give credit for newly planted trees that counts as a discount offset on the remaining mitigation that is to be paid via fees. The bill is a tree planting incentive that provides needed relief from a tax that is ultimately paid for by home buyers.
In his testimony, Mr. Lehde explained how increasing mitigation fees are a regulatory cost that is a major contribution to the challenge of providing affordable homes for families who are looking in the entry level and moderate income markets. As mitigation fees pile up, the cost for the lot basis can be driven so high as to make it cost prohibitive to provide a home at the price point that a location's market can absorb.
The credits offered in HB 7 can offer significant relief from the mitigation fees that are placed on private property. The fees are part of a regulatory cost that, unlike many other market factors, are usually not open to negotiation.