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April 15, 2024

Supreme Court Rules Against Excessive Government Fees in Property Case

The Supreme Court has ruled against the United States government for trying to gouge a new homeowner.

The government was going to charge a man $23,000 in fees for a “traffic impact fee” due to the construction of a small single-family home.

This is a major blow to Governor Newsom and his overreaching administration.

Big Win

California uses these property development fees to fund new projects, as property taxes tend to be exhausted for normal government expenses.

The fee structure is a “flat fee” that sometimes costs the homeowner more than the actual construction costs of the home.

For instance, it can cost as much as $157,000 in fees to build a single-family home.

You could easily point to this aggressive fee structure as the reason that the California housing market is crashing in terms of new homes being built, even though there is a clear demand for more housing in the state.

Compared to 2022, housing permits decreased by 45% in 2023 despite the fact there is a housing shortage in the state of more than four million homes.

Brian Hodges, senior attorney at Pacific Legal Foundation and co-counsel for this case, celebrated the ruling as a huge win for property owners.

Hodges stated, “Today’s ruling is a major victory for property rights, and a step in the right direction toward removing barriers to housing.

“We are thrilled with the Supreme Court’s decision and will continue fighting to protect property rights and make the process for building new homes more fair.”

In the initial ruling for the case, the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of the county levying the fee because it was a fee created by the state legislature.

The United States Supreme Court vacated that decision, then remanded the case back to the state court for reconsideration of the constitutionality of the excessive fee.

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