ReWa Institutes New Account Fee Changes

ReWa Institutes New Account Fee Changes

ReWa will institute a new class of new account fees for multi-family and mixed use properties beginning January 1, 2019.  Your HBA was consulted on the new fees and provided input, but we did not have a problem with the new fee structure.

The new fee structure corrects inequities in the current fee structure. The change more accurately reflects the capacity needs as defined by South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s unit contributory loading.

See the FAQ and example chart linked below help explain the changes.

ReWa Approves New Account Fee Schedule

NAF changes apply to multifamily, mixed-use projects
Changes apply to fees paid on or after January 1, 2019

At its regular board meeting in July, ReWa approved changes and increases to New Account Fees (NAF) for mulifamily and mixed-used projects. According to ReWa staff, the new fee schedule better assesses the cost of serving these larger developments, particularly mixed-use developments that include commercial activities.

The new fee schedule does not impact single-family residential developments.

Your home builders association was consulted on the proposal before it was submitted to the ReWa board.

New Account Fees for Multifamily and Mixed-Use ProjectsAll new account fees are currently based on meter size; however, this creates an inequity among customer classes. To address this inequity, ReWa will assess multi-family and mixed use new account fees based on the estimated daily wastewater flows as provided by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Regulation 61-67, Appendix A-Unit Contributory Loadings to All Domestic Wastewater Treatment Facilities (UCL). The estimated daily wastewater flow would be multiplied by the capacity cost per gallon of $8.33, which is based on the current new account fee of $2,500 for single-family homes with a 5/8” meter divided by the 300 gallons capacity per day per the UCL.

The table below shows the flow and the respective proposed new account fees for multi-family housing per unit.

Multi-Family Housing
Flow (gpd)
Three (3) Bedrooms (Per Unit)
Two (2) Bedrooms (Per Unit)
One (1) Bedrooms (Per Unit)

The table below presents a sample multi-family housing new account fee calculation using the proposed methodology.

Sample Multi-Family Housing
Flow (gpd)
Cost per Gal. per day
Three Bedroom Apartments
$ 8.33
$  25,000
Two Bedroom Apartments
One Bedroom Apartments
Total New Account Fee
$  156,250

When the multi-family housing project is submitted to ReWa’s engineering department for review, the number of residential units and associated number of bedrooms per unit will need to be clearly identified on the plans and shown in the design calculations. In cases where the bedrooms are unknown, ReWa will charge a $2,500 per unit fee and when the bedrooms are confirmed, the developer or engineer may request a refund, if applicable. The table below shows a sample mixed use property new account fee calculation using the proposed methodology. 

Sample Mixed Use Property
Flow (gpd)
Cost per Gal. per day
Two Bedroom Condos
$ 8.33
$  22,500
Restaurant w/ 75 Seats
Office / Retail w/ 15 Employees
Total New Account Fee
$  43,625

When a mixed use project is submitted, in addition to identifying the residential units, commercial sites along with their projected use should also be identified on the plans. In cases where specific tenant information is not known at the time the project is submitted, the developer is to submit his best guess for the tenant and the applicable UCL. Prior to occupancy, the developer or engineer is to coordinate with ReWa’s engineering department to ensure that the original plans and fees submitted still match what is actually in place. At this time, if applicable, ReWa would refund fees or the developer would pay additional fees.

The effective date for these changes is January 1, 2019. Fees on developments previously approved but not yet paid at January 1, 2019 will be calculated based on the above methodology.

HBASC announces 2012 Housing Advocacy Agenda

Your Home Builders Association of South Carolina announced the Housing Advocacy Agenda for 2012 following its annual Legislative Conference in Columbia on November 9.

  1. Multi-lot Discount: Allow for a grace period for annual re-certification to reduce risk of losing property tax discount, and increase from 5 to 8 the years the discount is available due to the economic downturn. Bill up in Senate. 
  2. Reverse Anti-Economic Development Case: SC Supreme Court decision said any discharge into the environment must be permitted, and anyone can have standing in the case. Ominous decision for land development & construction – permit nightmare! Bill to be introduced. 
  3. IECC 2009 Adoption: The PURC Advisory Committee is scheduled to move forward with recommendations to the General Assembly to adopt the IEEC 2009 energy code. Bill to be introduced. 
  4. Immigration Reform: There is new political pressure in our state due to concerns over the Hispanic growing population in the US. We would anticipate that immigration reform legislation may have to be introduced if the Court rules against the recently passed state law – similar to the Arizona law. Bill challenged in court! 
  5. Impact Fees: HBA has to defend the state impact fee law every year every year, as some areas of the state continue to push for school impact fees, and more liberal interpretation of our state’s impact fee law. Recent court action helped! 
  6. Comprehensive Tax Reform: General Assembly will possibly pursue a comprehensive review of taxes in 2012 based on some of the TRAC Committee recommendations with additions, deletions, and changes to the SC tax code. Tax reform bill likely be introduced. 
  7. Private Transfer Fees: A bill was passed last session to ban the use of private transfer fees in SC. Bill will be up for passage in Senate in 2012. 
  8. Labor Unions Expand Their Influence: Business interests are concerned that labor unions will attempt to undermine our right-to-work state by state and federal legislation.

Watch for Calls to Action from your Home Builders Association in support of these housing-related public policy issues.

On School Impact Fees

Editor’s Note: Last week HBA of Greenville Executive Vice President Michael Dey and Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® Chief Executive Office Nick Sabatine co-authored an editorial that appeared in the Greenville News. It is reprinted here:

Before proceeding with a proposal to impose a development impact fee on new homes built in Greenville County, the Greenville County School Board of Trustees should give consideration to the following facts about impact fees:

  • Home Builders and Developers do not pay impact fees; the buyers of the homes in the communities they build pay the fees, which will have a negative impact on the ability of young home buyers who are expected to dominate the new home market in the coming decade.
  • Any buyer of any new home and the owners of existing homes, who add on to their home, even if they do not have children in school, will be required to pay the impact fee. However, the buyer of an existing home will not be assed an impact fee, even if they have children in school.
  • The “South Carolina Development Impact Fee Act” (SC 6-1-190) specifically lists seven public facilities that are eligible to receive funding from development impact fees. Eligible public facilities include roads, parks, and libraries. Specifically excluded from the list are schools.
  • When the school board begins assessing an impact fee, consider that those homeowners who pay the fee will be inclined to oppose a bond referendum or millage increase – both of which raise far more money than an impact fee – because they have paid for their burden on the school system.

The Greenville County School Board of Trustees also should consider the fact that in Greenville, South Carolina, new housing pays for itself, and quickly. In fact, according to two studies conducted by Dr. Elliott Eisenberg of the National Association of Homes Builders, new homes actually subsidize existing homes through their contribution to the local tax base.

In 2008, Home Builders in Greenville County built 1,852 new single-family homes. The impact of those homes on Greenville County include: Local income for workers was $308.8 million; Taxes and fees for local governments was $51.2 million; and local jobs created was 5,388.

Imagine first the condition our local school board’s budget would be in if housing production were able to rebound. Now imagine the effect an impact fee will have on new home construction in the future.

In addition to the effect that new home construction has on our local economy and tax collections, homes continue to benefit our community after they are built. The homes built in 2008 have continued to benefit our local economy and governments by contributing $45.1 million per year in local income to workers and $12.3 million in taxes and fees to local governments, while supporting 879 local jobs.

The question we have for our local school board trustees is on what basis do you conclude that new homes are not contributing fully to the demands they place on the school system and other local governments? Based on the studies we referenced, the following are facts:

  • By the end of the first year after 1,852 new homes were built in 2008, economic impacts of constructing those homes offset all fiscal costs of serving those new homes, including all infrastructure costs like schools.
  • Since the second year, those same new homes have been contributing NET INCOME to local governments, like the Greenville County School System, of more than $2 million per year.
  • After 10 years, those new homes will have contributed NET INCOME to local governments of more than $25 million.

Even in the peak years of home building, the rate at which home building pays for its impact on government facilities was similar to 2008.

We caution our local school board trustees that adding a tax on new construction would actually hurt revenues for local schools, not help them.

Nick Sabatine, Chief Executive Officer
Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS®

Michael Dey, Executive Vice President
Home Builders Association of Greenville