Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando commissioner pushes a rival economic stimulus plan

BROOKSVILLE — County Commissioner Jeff Stabins has an idea for stimulating Hernando County's economy, and it doesn't involve cutting impact fees.

The County Commission on Tuesday will discuss a proposal by local builders and business leaders to reduce impact fees by 25 percent for the next 18 months. The action will give the county access to a onetime-only pot of $20-million for affordable housing initiatives.

Stabins says there is no need to cut impact fees to provide first-time homeowners the down payment assistance they need. Another $20-million in funding to accomplish that is already accessible to Hernando, but only eight residents tried for the funding last year.

Stabins wants that program to be better advertised and has invited a SunTrust Bank employee who works with the program to Tuesday's meeting.

During that discussion, he plans to pitch his idea to stimulate the economy by using the $1.8-million currently available through the State Housing Initiatives Program for qualifying low-income residents to fix up their homes using no-interest loans.

Calling his program the Housing Enhancement Loan Program, or HELP, Stabins sees the plan as a good way to put local tradespeople idled by the stagnant building market back to work.

Through the Property Appraiser's Office, Stabins has identified 120 Hernando properties with homes valued at $30,000 or less. His plan is to contact these homeowners and ask them if they are interested in seeking the loans.

The income qualification is $19,800 for a single person, half the median county salary. The cap per house for repairs is $35,000.

"It would not only help the people in these homes get them repaired, but it would help the neighborhood to look better, and it would put the carpenters, the tradesmen, the plasterers, the bricklayers back to work,'' Stabins said. "We could help people right away by having them do five or six homes a month.''

His plan is similar to one that is being touted by one of his opponents in the upcoming Aug. 26 Republican primary election.

Michael Burmann, who has been working as an inspector with the My Safe Florida Home program, has suggested using the SHIP funds or another source to improve the storm worthiness of Hernando homes.

Stabins said he hopes commissioners are willing to hear alternatives to cutting impact fees because the $1-million to $2-million loss in fees would hurt the county's efforts to keep up with its infrastructure needs.

He said his plan will accomplish the stimulus without hurting the county.

"The builders said they were looking for something symbolic,'' he said. "This is symbolic and then some.''

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando commissioner pushes a rival economic stimulus plan 08/02/08 [Last modified: Monday, August 4, 2008 2:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees

    Politics

    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact

    World

    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.