Developers in Manatee County may be seeing steeper fees when building new construction, if a resolution passed by the School Board of Manatee County is approved by county commissioners.
On Tuesday night, the school board voted 4 to 1 to raise impact fees on developers from a graduated schedule that left developers paying only 50 percent of the recommended amount to the full 100 percent.
Now, the decision moves on to the county planning commission and then the county commissioners for a vote.
If the commissioners agree with the school board, developers would pay the following fees to offset the impact of new construction, based on a study last fall by TishlerBise, a Maryland-based consulting firm:
▪ $3,276 for a multifamily or other style home.
▪ $6,415 for a duplex or townhouse.
▪ $6,086 for a single family home.
▪ $1,372 for a mobile home.
Vice-Chair John Colon was the only member voting in opposition.
“I was under the impression that if we got the sales tax, we wouldn’t raise the impact fees. I considered that a commitment to the business community,” Colon said. “In addition to that ... this is added to the cost of the home, and it’s not paid for by the developers. It’s paid for by the homeowner.”
Jon Mast, the CEO of Manatee-Sarasota Builders Industry Association, said the study completed by TishlerBise in 2016 did not factor in revenue from the recently passed half-cent sales tax referendum and would be subject to legal action from the builders’ group.
“The BIA must explore legal options to make sure the fees are accurate,” Mast said.
Superintendent Diana Greene said school officials would review the numbers provided by TishlerBise last fall were still correct. She said the resolution was simply a decision to charge developers 100 percent; it did not dictate what the dollar amount would be.
The vote marks a departure from a developer-friendly policy that eliminated impact fees after the 2009 recession and later proposed to ease developers back into the fees at a graduated rate. Under the existing rate, developers paid 50 percent of the fees
In November 2015, the board voted to keep impact fees at 50 percent of the recommended amount if voters approved a 15-year extension of the half-cent sales tax. They later reversed course on that approach, and established the graduated payment scale.