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The Villages
Saturday, June 12, 2021

We can take our revenge at the ballot box

To the Editor:

By now all Sumter County residents are aware that the legislation enacted in the Florida Legislature cutting back on raising impact fees will most likely be signed by the governor. I sent an email to our Governor asking him to veto the bill however, knowing how money talks in politics, it probably will be ignored.
I am amazed that the other 66 counties in Florida would give in so easily to the big money people. Each of these counties have just lost the right to determine if all the costs of new development can be passed on to the developer. Could it be that the developers in those other counties are as strong as our developer? The advocates for full impact fees in Sumter County put up a good fight and we actually won the battle when our three new Commissioners raised impact fees by 75 percent. Unfortunately, we lost the war. The loss will probably show up when we receive our future tax bills in November. Either we will see a small tax increase or a very small tax reduction instead of the 4+ percent we have become accustomed to. It will all depend on how many new homes are sold in Sumter County by the Developer each year.
Having stated the above, I don’t think we should give up. There is an election coming in 2022 and we will have a chance to replace the two remaining Commissioners, or anyone running in their place, by candidates not beholden to the developer. We will also have the chance to replace Senator Dennis Baxley and Representative Brett Hage. I’m certain that The Villages will continue to expand at the current rate even with elected officials who don’t always vote for what is good for the developer.

Jay Kaplan
Village of Sabal Chase

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