Sunday, April 22, 2018
News Roundup

Hernando commission set to consider reinstatement of transportation impact fee

BROOKSVILLE — After months of study, analysis and discussion, the Hernando County Commission is expected to decide today whether to reinstate impact fees on new construction.

The fees have been suspended since 2011, an effort by the commission to jump-start the local economy. County planners say the move did not work; local builders say it may have helped somewhat.

The commission will conduct a public hearing before considering the largest portion of the impact fee package — the fee for transportation improvements.

The commission previously had set the transportation impact fee at $3,627, based on the findings of a study done in 2005. Then, in 2009, the commission halved all of the fees, suspending them entirely in 2011.

The county's impact fee consultant, Bob Wallace of Tindale-Oliver & Associates, recently told commissioners they should consider roads a vital part of the community's quality of life. He recommended that the county maintain the system using a variety of financial resources, including impact fees.

Last month, Wallace brought forward a fee that he said would be needed to fully cover the impact of growth on local roads. That fee was $5,767. Commissioners chose to instead move forward with a fee 44 percent of that total, or $2,537.

The effective date of a new fee would be Aug. 14, to coincide with the date that other pieces of the impact fee package are set to kick in.

In January, the commission voted to approve updated fees for parks, libraries, public buildings, emergency services and the sheriff, but decided to delay implementation until mid August.

Based on the 2005 impact fee study, those fees previously had totaled $1,345 for a single-family home. The new total would be $1,387, starting Aug. 14. But on Oct. 1, when the county and Spring Hill fire-rescue districts are fully consolidated, that number will drop to $1,312.

The School Board also is working on a new impact fee calculation.

If the transportation fee is approved, building permits completed but not yet issued by Aug. 14 would not be subject to the fee. Those with a valid, executed contract by that date would have a month to submit paperwork and avoid the fee.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

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