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Impact Fee Payment Deferral Programs

This page provides an overview of impact fee payment deferral programs required by new legislation that took effect in 2016, including examples of local ordinances and forms.

For an overview of impact fees in general, see our page on Impact Fees.

Statutory Requirements

In 2015, the state legislature enacted ESB 5923, which required counties, cities, and towns to adopt a deferral system for the collection of impact fees for new single-family detached and attached residential construction, effective September 1, 2016. Most of the legislative bill’s revisions focused on RCW 82.02.050.

Upon developer request, these jurisdictions must delay payment of impact fees until the time of:

  1. Final inspection;
  2. Issuance of the certificate of occupancy or equivalent certification; and/or
  3. The closing of the first sale of the property.

Other provisions of the new law include:

  • The term of deferral is 18 months from issuance of the building permit.
  • The amount of impact fees that may be deferred is determined by the fees in effect at the time the applicant applies for a deferral.
  • Deferral of impact fees can be limited to the first 20 single-family residential building permits, annually, per applicant.
  • An applicant seeking a deferral must grant and record a lien against the property in favor of the municipality in the amount of the deferred impact fee.
  • Municipalities may collect reasonable administrative fees from applicants seeking a deferral.
  • To limit the “spin-off LLC” issue, “applicant” is defined to include “an entity that controls the applicant, is controlled by the applicant, or is under common control with the applicant.”
  • Limited grandfathering is authorized for an existing deferral system (in effect on or before April 1, 2015), even if it does not fully match the new state requirements, as long as all impact fees are deferred.
  • Municipalities and school districts are authorized to institute foreclosure proceedings if impact fees are not paid.
  • The Department of Commerce must develop an annual report, beginning December 1, 2018, on the payment and collection of impact fees from school districts, counties, and cities for single-family residential construction.

Sample Ordinances

Sample Forms

Below are examples of impact fee deferral forms. If you or your jurisdiction have additional examples you would like to share with us that differ from the ones below, please contact Steve Butler.

Last Modified: April 02, 2021