AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - City leaders in Austin are mulling two proposals to increase developers' "impact fees," reducing discounts once meant to encourage dense development.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that developers downtown and other areas often pay only one-fifth of costs like connecting water and wastewater systems.
The rest is covered by existing businesses and homes.
That's because of a policy adopted in the late 1990s meant to encourage growth in areas other than environmentally sensitive South and Southwest Austin.
But critics note that residents already living here are being forced to pay for future growth.
The city council debates Thursday two plans on achieving a better balance.
Both would raise city impact fees by either canceling developer discounts, or cutting them to include only areas where Austin still wants to focus growth.
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