Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Glades County Studying Impact Fees

More Costs To Build?

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- At the Glades County Commission meeting Dr. Jim
Nicholas, University of Florida Professor, and Associate Director of
Environmental and Land Use Law Program has been hired to prepare a study
that will provide data
needed for adoption of impact fees to fund anticipated new growth
infrastructure in accordance with Florida Department of Community Affairs
and state legislative directives for infrastructure concurrency. Dr.
Nicholas emphasized the need to document the rationale for enacting the
user fees to define the impact fee structure's "what" and "why", as a
direct link between the service received and fee paid must be established.
Dr. Nicholas will be paid $12,500 which will cover studying, compiling and
reporting on the elements of Transportation and Public Safety which
includes Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical, and Fire

Of the thirty-two of Florida's sixty-seven counties which have adopted
impact fee ordinances, Osceola County collects the highest at $14,000 per
building permit issued for a single family home, with $1,250 being the
lowest for Wakulla County. Dr. Nicholas noted that because new growth
affects other aspects of county-provided infrastructure, impact fees could
also be imposed for Parks & Recreation, Library, Public Buildings, Water
and Wastewater Treatment Facilities.

The state legislature has already mandated that local governments will fund
education costs, and should a county fail to provide the necessary funding
of providing school concurrency with growth, the state will step in and
take over, not to fund, but to impose additional tax burdens on county
property owners. Impact fees for schools are usually the highest part of
the total fee charged. The cost of preparing the study of the public
schools element is expected to be
undertaken by the Glades County School District. Dr. Nicholas expects to
have the study completed in 90 days, and noted that the gathering of
numbers and information takes time, but crunching the information will go

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