Quick introduction here -- I just created my account, but I've been lurking for a while. While this is the first time I've posted to BlueNC, I'm "Michael Bacon" at TPMCafe and nclefty at Daily Kos. (I created that username years ago, shortly after 2004, when I felt like I needed to defiantly state that I was a liberal living in North Carolina. Man, how times have changed... for the better!)
I'm here now because I'm trying to actually move on something I've been wanting to do for quite a while now. I don't think impact fees are a foreign subject around here, from what I've seen, but right now the topic of how to pay for schools, in the wake of the Wake County bond referendum, seems to have some life.
Having watched up-close the court battle in Durham to charge impact fees without explicit legislative approval, I think the only way to get alternate sources of funding like this is if activists from the impacted municipalities team up and get on the same page. If only one city pushes it, they'll get snowed, just like Durham. If only the legislators push it, it'll die of a whisper campaign by the homebuilders. The only way it will happen is if the activists, who in each district can get the ear of their legislator, work together and move the ball forward. That's the only way we can match the extensive influence of the homebuilders. And I think BlueNC and other communities like it are just the way to do it.