Impact fees ensure prosperity.
In a Brookings Institution report entitled “Paying for Prosperity: Impact Fees and Job Growth,” that renowned organization states:
“Impact fees can directly fund vital infrastructure improvements, while increasing the supply of buildable land, improving predictability in the development process, and indirectly promoting local employment at the same time. Faced with the growing demand for investment and the public resistance to tax increases, localities in growing regions that institute impact fees may become more prosperous in the long run than communities in such regions that do not have them.”
Here in Manatee County, impact fees and related facility investment fees could provide funding for infrastructure required by growth including:
• Roads and bridges
• Traffic control facilities
• Pipelines (fresh water, reclaimed water, and sewer)
• Freshwater and waste-water treatment facilities
• Solid-waste disposal facilities
• Schools, including student furniture, labs, and athletic fields
• Fire stations, including fire trucks and other equipment
• Ambulances and other emergency and safety equipment
• Police stations, police cars, and related equipment
• Land for all those public buildings
• Parks and preserves
• Multi-use pathways
• Storm drainage facilities
• Street lighting
• And much more
When impact fees are collected, those charges are passed on to buyers who directly benefit from the infrastructure. Those costs become part of the buyer’s investment and are recouped when the property is eventually sold. Would you buy a house that didn’t include use of all that infrastructure listed above?
Manatee County hasn’t collected full impact fees since 2008. It isn’t fair and it hurts our economy and quality of life because tax money is diverted from regular maintenance and improvements, jobs are lost, and cash flow decreases.
We must vote only for candidates who favor 100 percent collection of impact fees.