Wednesday, January 13, 2021
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The Villages

No need to wait until July for decision on impact fees

Jay Kaplan

There is no need to wait until July to pass the impact fee increase onto the Developer.

In an article in The Villages Daily Sun last week, it indicated that Sumter County is struggling to maintain its competitive advantage. The paper goes on to say that central Lake County has lower impact fees than Sumter County. Funny that they didn’t compare it to other counties which have 10 or 20 times higher fees.  Nor do they mention that our impact fees are for roads only and do not include the costs for schools, libraries, fire stations, etc. Almost every other county includes these other costs when they calculate their impact fees.

Fast forward to Tuesday’s Daily Sun and the headline, “Villages Comes Out On Top Again.” The article goes on to say that The Villages again is America’s top-selling master-planned community. Does that sound like the county is struggling to maintain its competitive advantage? I don’t think so.

Frank Calascione, the county’s economic development director stated, “The Villages is an important contributor to the county’s overall economic health.”

The increase in the impact fee would be $1,458. I believe that the developer would pass that increase to all new home buyers. I cannot see how that would really hinder the developer from selling homes. In reality, it is these new home buyers that are causing the county to spend the additional money’s for the roads and all the other additional costs being incurred. These are the people who should bear these additional costs, not the homeowners who have already paid for their impact fees when they purchased their homes.

It is now time to that all the county commissioners do the right thing. The 25 percent roll back was a campaign promise made by our three new commissioners. Why wait any longer?

Jay Kaplan is a resident of the Village of Sabal Chase.

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