School impact fees will have to be paid retroactively because the suspension of collection of those fees ended on July 27, 2013. County Attorney William Claigue has publicly claimed that the county could not collect those school impact fees because that would require a study "to assure that the rates established thereunder are based on the most recent and localized data in accordance with the requirements of Section 163.3180, Florida Statutes."
The ordinance establishing the suspension of "charging and collection of educational facilities impact fees (school impact fees) required that the county, in cooperation with the school board, shall conduct a study of the educational facilities impact fee, and at the end of such four-year period shall make modifications" to the rates.
Whether by intent or oversight, that study was never conducted. A study of impact fees was done in 2011, but for unknown reasons school impact fees were not included. Such a study is now in progress and is expected to be released in December.
Claigue has suggested that home builders would sue the county if it tried to collect school impact fees without a study. Now that a study is being done, that argument is mute.
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There are numerous examples of cases when counties or municipalities have neglected to collect fees or have overcharged or undercharged fees. Virtually all of those cases have ruled to correct the error whether it required refunding fees or collecting fees that were undercharged or not charged at all.
When the suspension of charging and collection of school impact fees ended in 2013, those fees started accruing and should be collected by the county as soon as collection rates are established by the study that is now in progress.