Focus on impact fees, not builder handouts Sept. 30 editorial
Impact fees? In this economy?
The editorial stated "Hernando commissioners are being asked to subsidize a private, for-profit special interest" regarding an upcoming vote for the continued suspension of impact fees.
This editorial is severely misinformed. We don't blame the writer for this confusion because this type of misinformation is common in our industry.
The assertion that it benefits only the builder's bottom line is way off base. Impact fees are paid for by the homeowner, not the builder. Not one single dime of impact fees is a profit center for a builder. Any reduction (or, in this case, continued suspension) benefits the homeowner, as well as the community. Since the last impact fee reduction, every builder that I know reduced the sales prices of their homes equal to, or more than, the impact fee reduction.
The building industry is just starting to see a recovery. The reduction in impact fees helped that. How many homes do you think we would be able to build next year if we tacked on another $10,000 to our current prices? How many construction contracts would be cancelled because the mortgage was denied because the appraisal would not accommodate another $10,000 in costs?
The editorial stated the current impact fee reduction was an undisputed failure. Our employees, suppliers and their friends, families and neighbors think otherwise. Personally, we have commercial projects under way or in planning because of the impact fee suspension.
The last thing we want to do, as small business owners in our community, is look our employees and contractors in the eye and tell them they are out of work because Hernando County government decided to raise our homes prices by $10,000 in a fragile economy.
Chris Glover, President Hernando Builders Association
Editor's note: The staff proposal before the County Commission is for an impact fee of $1,397 per single-family home that, if approved, would not be effective until mid-February. More expensive impact fees for transportation and education are not included and won't be debated until the county and the school district devise new rates.