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Recurring development contributions

recurring development contributions

What will change as a result of the recurring road improvement contributions?

At its meeting on 22.03.2023, the Idar-Oberstein city council decided to introduce recurring contributions for the districts of Göttschied, Tiefenstein and Regulshausen (the resolution can be found in the council and citizen information system, the statutes in the local law). This means that if traffic facilities - including roads, sidewalks or lighting systems - are upgraded in these three districts, the property owners will share in the costs via recurring contributions and no longer via one-off contributions. For the other districts, the switch to WKB is also yet to be decided. But what exactly will change with the introduction of the WKB? The following text is intended to provide answers to the most important questions. However, it does not go into legal depth so that it remains comprehensible.

  • Why is there a switch to recurring contributions?

    Until now, local authorities in Rhineland-Palatinate had the choice of levying one-off or recurring contributions to finance expansion measures. In Idar-Oberstein, only one-off contributions have been levied to date. However, in May 2020, the Rhineland-Palatinate state parliament decided that only recurring contributions would be permitted from January 1, 2024 at the latest. In doing so, the state parliament deliberately refrained from levying road improvement contributions altogether, as other federal states have done. In this respect, however, local authorities in Rhineland-Palatinate are still required to levy contributions from property owners to finance road improvement measures.

  • Who has to pay?

    In the case of one-off contributions, only the property owners whose properties are located in the area of the expansion measure are liable to pay.
    In the case of the WKB, all property owners in the settlement unit in whose area the expansion measure is carried out are liable to pay. In the first step, the districts of Göttschied, Tiefenstein and Regulshausen were each defined as one settlement unit. For other districts, it may be possible to define several billing units per district. So when the extension of Blumenstrasse in the Göttschied district begins soon, all property owners in this district (billing unit 1) will be required to pay recurring contributions.

  • How is the amount of the contributions calculated?

    For both types of contribution, the municipal share borne by the city of Idar-Oberstein is first deducted from the costs of the measure. This reflects the ratio of through traffic to residential traffic. Traffic caused by classified roads (federal, state and district roads) does not count as through traffic.
    In the case of one-off contributions, the municipal share is determined individually by the city council for each road to be upgraded. After this has been deducted, the remaining costs are allocated to the affected property owners. When calculating the individual development contribution, the property area and the number of storeys are taken into account.
    In the case of WKB, the municipal share is no longer determined individually for each street, but uniformly for the entire billing unit. The amount of the municipal share is specified in the Municipal Charges Act (KAG). The city council has set the municipal share for Göttschied (billing unit 1) at 35 percent, for Tiefenstein (billing unit 2) at 30 percent and for Regulshausen (billing unit 3) at 25 percent. After this has been deducted, the remaining costs are allocated to all property owners in the settlement unit. The main factors taken into account in the calculation are the plot area and the number of full storeys.

  • When are WKB to be paid?

    Recurring contributions do not have to be paid every year, as some people think. Instead, they are only payable if a development measure is actually carried out in a settlement unit. If this is the case, the city can levy advance payments in the amount of the expected costs of the measures at the beginning of the calendar year in which the measure is planned. If no development work is carried out in a settlement unit in a given year, no WKB is payable for that year either. If a measure lasts several years, a WKB must be paid for each year. As the development costs incurred in a settlement unit within one year usually vary, the amount of the WKB also changes. If several roads are upgraded in the settlement unit, WKB must be paid for each of these measures.

  • What about residents of classified roads

    Property owners on classified roads only contribute to the costs of sidewalks, street lighting and the like when calculating one-off contributions, not to the costs of the carriageway.
    WKB are levied on all property owners in a settlement unit, including those whose properties are located on classified roads. However, it remains the case that the costs for the carriageway expansion of classified roads are not financed by WKB, but by the respective authorities responsible for construction (federal, state or district). In the case of the upcoming expansion of Tiefensteiner Strasse, the expansion of the carriageway is paid for by the federal government, while the property owners of settlement unit 2 only have to finance the costs for the sidewalks, street lighting, etc. via WKB.

  • What about property owners who have only recently paid one-off contributions for the expansion of their road?

    For such cases, the statutes contain a sparing provision. Depending on the scope of the expansion measure settled via one-off contributions, the property owners are not required to pay WKB for a period of up to 20 years. For example, the Alte Poststraße in the Tiefenstein district was completely upgraded between 2011 and 2014. As a result, the property owners who paid one-off development contributions at the time are now not required to pay WKB when Tiefensteiner Straße is developed. The beautification regulations also apply to development measures.

  • Conclusion

    As always, there are advantages and disadvantages to using different calculation methods.
    The drawback with one-off contributions is that the amounts to be paid can be very high, in some cases even several tens of thousands of euros. This is due to the fact that the costs of the expansion measure are usually passed on to a limited number of property owners. On the other hand, it is rather rare for one and the same property to be subject to one-off development contributions several times in a lifetime.
    In the case of WKB, the proportion of the development costs that the contributors have to bear per measure is generally higher than in the case of one-off contributions. This is due to the relatively low municipal share, which applies to the entire settlement unit. However, the number of property owners who are required to pay is much higher. This is because all property owners in the settlement unit pay. This results in a much lower amount for the individual contributor. On the other hand, however, this amount must be paid more often than the one-off development contribution.
    Irrespective of whether the settlement is based on one-off or recurring contributions: If property owners are unable to pay the amounts due or cannot pay them in one lump sum, they can apply to the municipal treasury for payment relief.

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