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Wyandotte County Offering Incentives to Lure New Home Construction

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- There are more new homes going up in Wyandotte County this year than last, but Unified Government officials say that they would like to see even more new home built in the county, and have taken steps to give incentives to make that happen.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County is waiving all building permit fees, inspection fees and sewer connection fees for new single-family homes until the end of 2013. In addition, they are asking the Board of Public Utilities to waive water and electric service connection fees as well.

The move comes as new home building permits in 2012 have increased 34 percent from 2011.

"The Cerner continuous campus will be hiring 4,000 people. We've added a thousand new jobs at the casino. We want to get some of those folks to live in Wyandotte County, close to where they work," said Mike Taylor of the Unified Government. "We have to have the housing stock available to do that."

Taylor says that by waiving the fees, that could save home builders - and buyers - thousands of dollars.

"It's fees the builder has to pay up front when they pull their permits to build. They have to come in and pay that out of pocket, and in our case, depending on what type of house, you're talking maybe $1,400 to $2,000," said Taylor. "If we can save them that on the front end to come in and build, and help fill out some of subdivisions started out west, it works well for everybody."

Taylor says that in the next year, Wyandotte County could see between 600 and 800 new apartments around the Village West area. He says that Kansas City, Kansas, is more affordable for home owners as well, noting that seven out of 10 property owners in the county will be seeing lower real estate tax bills in 2013.

Wyandotte County isn't alone in seeing a surge in new home construction. According to the Home Builders Association, new home construction is up 121 percent in Platte County, up 59 percent higher in Clay County and up 36 percent in Johnson County over last year.

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