RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — As Rutherford County continues to grow, the county mayor and one of the area’s representatives in the General Assembly disagree strongly on how to pay for that growth.

Rutherford County Mayor Joe Carr has been asking the Tennessee Legislature for the power to impose impact fees, a source of revenue for the county coming from a fee on new developments.

However, Carr’s proposals have been turned down by state lawmakers, including State Rep. Tim Rudd (R-Murfreesboro) who represents the area.

Carr said without the ability to impose impact fees, he needs to increase property taxes to accommodate the roughly 23 people moving to Rutherford County every day.

For example, he explained the cost to educate the more than 1,000 new students entering the school system yearly is a strain on its own.

“The cost to educate, not build new schools, just to educate each student is $9,700, and so we only get $2,400 for each new resident that’s proposed. You can see we’re upside down about $17,000 for each new student,” Carr said.

According to Carr, impact fees would relieve current residents of the burden of paying for the county’s growth and instead place the cost on those who are moving and building to Rutherford County.

“My philosophy is really simple – if you want it, you should have it, but you should pay for it. Not somebody across the county, he’s going to receive no benefit for it,” he said.

However, Rudd said Carr has gone the wrong way about instituting an impact fee.

“When this was first done, other than Joe Carr and the county commission stating that they wanted an impact fee, they never gave any details to it. They chose to bypass seven members of our delegation and Rutherford County did not consult us, did not meet with us, did not seek our advice, did not sit down and tell us what the contents of the bill was,” said Rudd. “We didn’t even see it until after it was filed.”

Rudd, a real estate agent in addition to being a lawmaker, said he is open to a compromise but disagrees that an impact fee would help grow the county. Instead, he said developers will pass on that extra fee to buyers, which will increase prices.

“My main concern is to keep homes affordable, plus the impact fee that’s proposed is really a bad tax, and it’s a hidden tax on existing residents.,” he said.

He added growth “pays for itself over time” and an impact fee can’t pay off the county’s deficit.

“There is no way through taxes or fees of any kind that you can pay for growth up front. Growth is always paid for in the rears,” Rudd said. “Growth pays for itself over time; it generates revenue; it just takes time.”

When asked what he would say to people concerned about paying more in property taxes as a result of not having an impact fee, Rudd commented on the county’s economic situation.

“If the government doesn’t cut back at spending and doesn’t cut back the growth of government and its management policies, the tax hikes will probably continue,” he said.

Carr disagrees with many of Rudd’s views on the subject.

“If somebody has three kids in elementary or middle school or high school, they’re going to want good schools. Who’s paying for the expansion of that infrastructure? Well, currently, Mr. Rudd said that that’s going to get paid on the back end. No, it doesn’t get paid on the back end, because it’s got to be financed on the front end,” Carr said.

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He also said other counties, like Williamson, have impact fees as do cities within Rutherford County like Murfreesboro, Smyrna and La Vergne, and it is unfair they don’t have the same autonomy.

“All we’re trying to say here is that the burden for growth and how that growth is paid for needs to be paid for by those who are requesting the growth,” Carr said.

This problem is not unique to Rutherford County; Maury County is also asking the General Assembly to allow them to implement impact fees.