Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Manatee commissioner says impact fee delay will harm residents

George Kruse
George Kruse
File photo
  • East County
  • News
  • Share

Manatee County Commissioner George Kruse said the commission's decision to scrap the just-completed impact fees study in favor of a new study could cause the county to lose more than $100 million in funds that would have been mostly put into infrastructure.

On Nov. 14, commissioners voted to charge developers 100% of the impact fees suggested in a 2015 study. That went up from 90% of the suggested fees that were being collected.

Impact fees are charged a developer to cover a portion of the anticipated cost of infrastructure and public facilities needed to support the new development in unincorporated Manatee County.

That decision to raise the percentage of collection of the suggested fees came after commissioners, all but Kruse, decided a new study was needed. Benesch of Tampa had been hired to present the county with an updated impact fees study.

However, Kruse said it will take a year for a new study to be completed and put into effect, Meanwhile, he said, developers are paying a suggested rate that is out of date.

"We were presented a viable study form a viable source," Kruse said. "This was not a no-name, fly-by-night firm that did the study for us."

The commission accepted the study from Benesch in April and voted to move forward with the process of adopting it, which included a public comment period. However, the commission never voted to send the new suggested impact fees study to the Planning Commission for consideration.

Kruse said it would make sense to adopt the new study's suggestions and, if his fellow commissioners have found fault with that study, order a new one.

State legislation passed in 2021 says "an impact fee may not be increased more than once every four years." However, it doesn't limit a municipality's ability to lower the fees.

Kruse said continuing to collect fees on the 2015 study will be "cost destructive," especially when it comes to building the needed infrastructure.

Of Florida's 67 counties, 43 utilize impact fees.



Jay Heater

Jay Heater is the managing editor of the East County Observer. Overall, he has been in the business more than 41 years, 26 spent at the Contra Costa Times in the San Francisco Bay area as a sportswriter covering college football and basketball, boxing and horse racing.

Latest News