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Hernando commissioners should raise impact fees, reader says

Hernando County letters to the editor
Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
Hernando County community news [Tara McCarty]
Published Dec. 9, 2019

Re: County looks at impact fee hike | Nov. 22 story

My mind’s made up, what about yours?

A recent article in the Hernando section of the Tampa Bay Times was about the school board asking the Hernando County Commissioners to raise impact fees for schools to $6,500 from their current rate of $2,100. The requested rate was suggested by a consulting firm and can be reasonably concluded to be a fair assessment.

Like all impact fees, the commission essentially denied the request. What a travesty; county commission members supplanting a school board decision. By law, the school board cannot raise property taxes beyond a certain amount, so they will have no choice but make do, even though a large portion of the need is created by new students moving into our area.

Again, this county commission bloc would rather increase your property tax at a considerably higher rate year after year than have the folks who create the need pay their fair share. They believe that an impact fee increase would be “almost like suicide.”

I can assure them that almost all of the residents in our county would welcome maximum impact fees, so let’s increase them. We would gain the benefits of lower property taxes, and new residents would help pay for the impact they create. Remember, impact fees are paid exclusively by new residents, rather than taxing existing residents to help pay for new roads, buildings, water and sewer facilities, garbage cells and the like.

My mind is made up. I will vote for almost anyone in our next election cycle who is committed to assessing a fair and equitable fee on all new construction.

Ken Trufant, Spring Hill

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