Manatee County is requesting your input on impact fees go to Impact Fee Administrator.
Manatee County property values will suffer, and the county will become a less than desirable place to live without adequate schools, roads and support services necessitated by new construction. Manatee County is holding an online public comment period on impact fees from Feb 5 through March 8. Even if you have sent your position to the commissioners, the input is needed for the formal public comment. Comments or questions can be emailed to Nicole.email@example.com, or sent to: Nicole Knapp, Impact Fee Administrator, PO Box 1000, Bradenton, FL 34206 or called at (941) 748-4501, ext. 7824.
Impact fees for newly constructed homes should reflect the increased costs of the additional and expanded community infrastructure needs, such as roads, new schools, parks, and libraries. According to Florida Statute 163.31801, “The Legislature finds that impact fees are an important source of revenue for a local government to use in funding the infrastructure necessitated by new growth.”
Developers lobby for lower or removal of impact fees. They have deep pockets and exert considerable influence. If you want new construction to come close to covering their costs to the county, and not have those costs shifted to existing homeowners, we must let our wishes be known to the impact fee administrator and to the county commissioners.
Recently our Manatee County Commission’s engineering consultants have recommended an increase in the impact fees charged to developers for new housing, which the developer then passes on to the new home buyers.
Some key points on this issue:
- By law, the impact fees charged per new home cannot exceed the actual costs of additional county infrastructure necessitated by the new construction. This fee covers new or improved roads, additional fire and police stations, libraries, etc. in the district of the new construction. It cannot be used for any other purpose.
- Developers frame it as a tax on only 9% of the citizens–new homeowners, but it costs the general public more as well. The new construction currently does not pay the full cost, since it is based on only 90% its value from five years ago, and construction costs have gone up.
- The increase, 35%, sounds like a huge sum, but it is actually a 6.2% increase annually.
- If the impact fees are not fully paid by new construction, it will cause an increased tax burden on the other 91% of the taxpayers, or else in the future we will not have adequate roads, libraries, schools, parks, and other important components of a community.
- Reducing impact fees has effectively no impact on affordable housing. A $1 million home pays the same impact fee as a $100,000 home. To help affordable housing, the county must continue to fund “Livable Manatee” so organizations such as Habitat for Humanity can have their impact fees covered through this fund.