Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco School Board pleads with County Commission: Don't cut impact fees

LAND O'LAKES — The Pasco School Board issued a last-minute plea on Tuesday urging the County Commission not to slash the school impact fees charged to new homes.

The board approved a two-page resolution requesting that the county "not consider further erosion of the district's capital budget." The fees generate about $4.5 million annually to help pay off debt incurred from the building of 11 new schools to deal with past growth.

Losing some of that money could force the district to dip into already-shrinking operating funds to make the debt payments.

"The district School Board of Pasco County is already facing severe cuts to programs and staffing levels due to this shortfall and cannot afford to subsidize the payment of a financial incentive to the home building community via the reduction of its school impact fee," the resolution states.

Board members met with commissioners at a workshop Monday, where commissioners indicated they might cut the $4,800 school impact fee in half to help spur new home construction. Commissioners have already cut the fees that fund libraries, parks and other amenities, shaving $6,100 off the $16,900 in various impact fees on an average new home.

"It appeared apparent that they are going to make some sort of reduction," School Board vice chairman Allen Altman said.

Still, it behooves the district to continue to press the matter, he and others said, because the financial circumstances facing the schools are critical.

Board members instructed attorney Dennis Alfonso, planning director Chris Williams and other key staff members to present the position to the commission on Tuesday afternoon.

They also told the representatives to seek compromise on the issues important to the school district.

Superintendent Heather Fiorentino said one idea might be to accept a two-year reduction, followed by an increase to the full amount recommended for school impact fees afterward. She noted that the county never has followed its own ordinance in adopting the fully justified school impact fee.

Board members said they doubted they could get that idea approved.

They questioned whether any deal would be followed.

"I know we are talking about compromise, but whatever we do, I do not think we can count on them following through with whatever they promise," board member Cynthia Armstrong said.

She said people at a Republican club meeting she attended told her they support maintaining a fee level that will not hurt the schools.

She urged members of the community who do not back a fee cut to speak out on behalf of the schools.

Alfonso agreed that politics might be the more successful approach to this situation, as it's an issue proposed by a commissioner without the full vetting process.

"This is a difficult issue to negotiate or compromise because it's not driven at this point by county staff," he said.

Commissioners are scheduled to begin their discussion at 2:30 p.m.

Their final vote is expected on April 19.

Jeffrey S. Solochek can be reached at solochek@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4614. For more education news, visit the Gradebook at www.tampabay.com/blogs/gradebook.

Pasco School Board pleads with County Commission: Don't cut impact fees 04/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 11:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Yale dean on leave over offensive Yelp reviews leaves post

    Bizarre News

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Yale University dean who was placed on leave over offensive reviews she posted on Yelp has left her position at the Ivy League institution, school officials said Tuesday.

  2. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    Associated Press

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  3. The people you meet along O.J. Howard Lane

    Bucs

    AUTAUGAVILLE, Ala. —The screen door hangs open to Laura's Country Kitchen but the dining room is empty with no one to feed.

    OJ Howard (far right) is seen in a photo from his adolescent years at Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church in Prattville, Ala., on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Howard served as an usher in addition to attending regular services at this church.
  4. St. Pete Pride schedule and live blog

    Special Topics

    St. Pete Pride Block Party and Night Parade: St. Pete Pride's popular parade moves to downtown St. Petersburg's scenic waterfront. The block party brings DJs, food and drinks starting at 2 p.m. The parade steps off at Fifth Ave NE and Bayshore at 7 p.m. with fireworks at 9:45 p.m. 2 p.m., North Straub Park, Fifth Avenue …

    A local business rings in Pride 2017 with some window decorations.