I am hearing rumbles in the local real estate community that our local Pasco County School District is considering raising the school impact fee from about $4,800 to just over 8,600, starting in January of 2010! That is a very big increase, especially at a time when real estate is taking a big hit, and thus causing economic problems nationwide.
For those who do not yet know it, impact fees are charges that a local government charges developers or homebuilders whenever new construction takes place. The concept is that each new home has an impact on road usage, school attendance, park and library use, calls to emergency services, etc. So with this in mind, many counties and municipalities charge a fee for new homes. This is paid apart from construction, permits, utility connections, etc. In some counties the fees are quite small, a few hundred dollars. Here in Pasco County they can go upwards of $15,000 or higher! These are costs that in one way or another get passed on to the consumer. You and me when we buy a new home.
So adding another $4,000+ to the hit homebuilders have to take is a bit much, in my opinion. Supposedly it is needed to cover new construction of school facilities to meet future growth. Though in recent years that growth has slowed.
Some feel that we need the increases, but that they should be phased in and not just land like a bomb in January 2010.
If the public is given a chance to let its voice be heard, some of you may want to watch this issue carefully so you can attend any school board or other public meetings and let your opinions be known. The Pasco County Commission has to approve any increase, so you might want to contact your own commissioner and let him or her know whether or not you approve of an increase like this. If you are thinking of building a home in the coming years, this could be money that will have to come from your pockets.
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida