In a March 1 Bradenton Herald article it was reported that Mike Pendley told the Manatee County School Board that “The county did not feel comfortable moving forward with an increase without an updated study.”
This was in reference to the school board vote to increase the school impact fees for new housing development to 100 percent now. Mr. Pendley is correct when he said that the state statute requires that the impact fees be based on the most localized and current data available.
What he didn’t say is that the state statute does not stipulate a time frame that is or is not acceptable for a study to be considered “most recent.” There was an impact fee study completed in 2015 which is less than 2 years old. In fact, if you go to the school district of Manatee County 2015 impact fee study site and click on frequently asked questions, you will find a table that lists examples of school districts’ impact fee studies that’s the date of the study and the 100 percent assessment amount. Three examples of currently used impact fee studies by counties are Sarasota 2015, Hillsborough 2007 and Pasco 2005.
The 2015 impact fee study done for Manatee County is one of the most current and should be implemented now. It would be a waste of taxpayer money to pay for a new one.
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Who would benefit from delaying the implementation of the current impact fee study? My guess would be — the developers. But don’t worry, the school board can just increase the size of the bond issue that property taxpayers can be on the hook for. Someone must really think that the general public isn’t very bright and will fall for these shenanigans.