When Stan Galperin and his wife moved to The Villages nearly eight years ago, their sales person made a promise. The Villages was going to stop building at State Road 44.
The Properties of The Villages rep told the couple they could expect a huge increase in the value of their home.
“She also told us that the county tax rate had decreased several years running,” Galperin said.
Being from New Jersey, a high tax rate state, it was welcome news for the couple. Their only income is Social Security and what they have saved.
“When our real estate taxes went up 25 percent and the appraised value of your home also went up the same year the total amount of increase was 28 percent. This was after our appraised value was stable or dropped over those years,” Galperin said.
Not exactly what they had been promised.
“Now we subsidize the new homes that compete with the value of our home. In essence, I am helping to reduce my future,” Galperin said.
He’s among the many Sumter County residents who favored the 4-1 vote Tuesday by the Sumter County Commission to reject an offer from the Developer of The Villages to pay 40 percent higher road impact fees on homes built in the Village of Southern Oaks, south of State Road 44.
“I was willing and happy to live with the size and amenities we had. Any new building and businesses should make their financial decision not by me subsidizing them. Roll back my taxes and place the cost on those that want to build,” Galperin said.
Paul Lindquist of the Village of Sanibel said it’s obvious the Developer has no respect for the people who bought homes in and support The Villages.
“He must think we are stupid, and then he offers a 40 percent increase on the sweetheart deal of $900+ impact fee,” he said.
“We hope the commissioners have the guts to raise the fees, and then eliminate the 25 percent tax increase imposed on us by the Developer’s lackeys,” Lindquist added.
Malachy Horan of the Village of Collier said the complaints about impact fees from The Villages don’t make sense.
“These impact fees will be added to the sales price of the new homes and passed along to the purchasers. The developers will not be eating these costs, rather, they will pass them on as they do not want their profit margins to diminish. Some people say that development will slow down or stop, but this is sheer madness. The Villages is a goldmine and will continue to be make no mistake about this,” Horan said.
Thomas Borck of the Village of Tall Tree also applauded Tuesday’s vote by the Sumter County Commission. He decried the howling by The Villages Daily Sun that this “tax increase” would doom small businesses, stop big box stores from considering locating in The Villages and diminish the quality of health care.
“Once again, The Villages is engaged in a misinformation campaign. Nice when you own a newspaper and two radio stations,” said the Village of Tall Trees resident.
However, Cherlyn Hester of the Villages of Liberty Park believes the Daily Sun has accurately predicted the future.
“Now, the new University of Florida Health hospital so desperately needed will not be built in what would have been the new ‘medical city’ south of Fenney. In addition, more businesses like restaurants we love and frequent will leave and likewise more people will move. And, there go our home values right behind. Well Villagers, you get what you deserve or better said, you get what you vote for,” she said.
Share your thoughts on the Sumter County impact fees at [email protected].