An increase in development gained Sarasota County an $8.4 million extra revenue than the previous year.
According to the 2014 annual impact fee report released to commissioners Thursday, the county collected $17.5 million before interest in fiscal year 2014, which extends from October 2013 to October 2014. In the 2013 year’s revenue from these fees was $9.1 million.
Impact fees can only be used on capital expenses – meaning new buildings or new property, for example, but not for operating or maintenance expenses.
The county estimates how much impact fees will generate in revenue, and the actual amount brought in through 2014 was more than the original, projected amounts. The estimates are based on the past 7 years of impact fee revenues, during which there was a downtown in development due to the state of the economy at the time, said Beth Rozansky, impact fee administrator for the county.
“Some big projects that came in this year factored into the increase,” she said, adding that The Mall at University Town Center was a large contributor to the increased revenue.
“Generally, there was an increase in development from the prior fiscal year,” Rozansky said.
The county is also digging into seven of its impact fees, hoping for results by March.
According to the annual fee report, Sarasota County has been undergoing an analysis of seven out of nine impact fees. Duncan Associates, the firm under contract since November, is reviewing the fees to recommend changes to methodologies of assessing impact fees and identifying necessary updates. The report will also compare Sarasota’s fees with comparable counties in Florida.
The last time the impact fees were analyzed was in 2007, Rozanksy said.