St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 

Citrus County raises impact fees

Starting in June, builders will pay 40 percent more for a single-family home.

By CATHERINE E. SHOICHET
Published January 26, 2007


ADVERTISEMENT

INVERNESS - After nearly eight hours of heated public debate, Citrus County commissioners voted to increase impact fees significantly Thursday.

The hike is not as much as a county consultant had recommended, but the mere idea of raising the impact fees - one-time charges for new construction that are used to help pay infrastructure costs - brought more than 200 people to the commission chamber.

The crowd was so large that officials called in bailiffs to get audience members to move to overflow seating in another room.

Armed with statistics and personal stories, more than 40 builders, real estate agents and others painted a dire economic portrait of Citrus County.

They spoke of layoffs and declining numbers of building permits. Raising impact fees, they said, would prevent small businesses from expanding and stop people from moving to Citrus.

In the end, the plan approved by commissioners means that after June 1, the builder of a 2,000-square-foot single-family home will pay $9,314 in impact fees, 40 percent more than today. Fees for a 10,000-square-foot store will increase 43 percent, to $8,687.

The new fees will send $19.5-million in additional revenue to county coffers this year, according to estimates from county consultant Tindale-Oliver & Associates.

Commissioners unanimously adopted recommended fees for public buildings, parks and recreation, fire, emergency services, law enforcement and libraries.

But when it came to the bigger ticket fee categories, transportation and schools, commissioners were divided.

They voted 3-2 to adopt 50 percent of those fees this year and evaluate them again after a consultant completes an economic study of county revenue sources.

Commission Chairman Dennis Damato and Commissioners Gary Bartell and John Thrumston voted for that approach to increasing fees. Commissioners Vicki Phillips and Joyce Valentino voted against it.

Catherine E. Shoichet can be reached at cshoichet@sptimes.com or 352 860-7309.

[Last modified January 26, 2007, 00:59:49]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT