MANATEE -- A week after the Manatee County Commission approved raising county impact fees, the planning commission unanimously recommended for approval the reinstatement of school impact fees.
During Thursday's meeting, the planning commission found the Educational Facilities Impact Fee Update Ordinance consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. The ordinance will go before the county commission on Jan. 7 for its approval.
School impact fees, which are collected on new residential development for construction of new schools and related facilities, were suspended in 2009.
TischlerBise of Bethesda, Md., which did an impact fee study for the county and school district, recommended the following school impact fees for new homes:
- $6,415 for a duplex or townhouse.
- $6,086 for a single family home.
- $3,276 for a multifamily or other style home.
- $1,372 for a mobile home.
During a Nov. 10 school board meeting, the school board approved a resolution asking the county to implement those fees over a three-year-period, asking for 50 percent collection rate the first year, rising to 75 percent the second year and going to 100 percent the third year. If voters approve a sales tax extension for the school district, then impact fee rate would drop back to 50 percent.
But some planning commissioners Thursday expressed their desire to have the school impact fees phased in at 80 percent the first year then 90 percent the second, going to 100 percent the third year as the county impact fees will do.
Planning Commissioner Matthew Bower said he's in favor of "80-90-100 implemented proposal versus what is in here."
Manatee County resident Ed Goff said he was opposed to the resolution approved by the school board, instead calling for the fees to be adopted at the full amounts recommended by the study.
"The school system needs all the funding it can get for new schools," Goff said. "Impact fees have a positive impact on the economy."