BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Belvidere led the Rockford region in 2022 in new home builds. Industry experts fear a certain fee could hinder sustaining those numbers.

“Your kind of leaving long term money on the table because every time a family chooses to build somewhere else its not a house built here in Belvidere,” said Northwest Illinois Alliance of Realtors CEO, Connor Brown.

Brown says that Belvidere may need to rethink charging impact fees on newly built houses.

“It made a lot of sense many decades ago when we were experiencing major growth in the schools systems, improvements that needed to be made in terms of general municipal infrastructure,” Brown said. “Now that we kind of a have a look back period of not much growth actual decline in population excess capacity in our schools the time is more than right to step away from these impact fees.”

Brown says that taking away the fee even for a short time could pay off. Boone County already has, it implemented a two year moratorium on impact fees. Belvidere chose not too.

“We were told this was going to be a time when no homes were going to be built. But yet, I don’t have the exact figures, but I know it’s a couple hundred homes built in the last couple years,” said 1st ward alderman for the City of Belvidere, Clayton Stevens.

Belvidere led the Rockford region with most new home builds in 2022. Industry experts say that may not be sustainable, especially with surrounding areas removing the fee for a time.

“What I see happening is impact fees can tend to slow the building of homes, certainty have for us because of a roughly 15 thousand dollar expense that has to be factored into the home,” said Licensed Illinois Broker, Kevin Horstman.

Stevens disagreed when I asked if it will be hard to sustain the growth of building new homes with impact fees still in place.

“I don’t think so the interest rates are low and people are looking to you know own their own home.”