Will Impact Fee Moratorium Be Revoked?
By Tim Harber // February 21, 2013
This week, a great injustice to the Brevard County economy and Realtor way of life was initiated by a 4 to 1 vote of the Brevard County Commissioners.
Before them was the opportunity to maintain the current moratorium on impact fees throughout Brevard County.
This moratorium was set to expire March 1, 2013. The commisioners had the opportunity to continue this moratorium but instead elected to hold a workshop to discuss it and only extend this moratorium until July 15, 2013.
The words of wisdom offered by Robin Fisher was, “call your clients and tell them to get moving, these fees are coming back.”
Chuck Nelson brought up the point that the Sams Club in Cocoa had a $619,000 impact fee waived and that he was against waiving these fees.
Those of you who know where the Sams Club is located will realize that not only has it revitalized an entire area, that the taxes collected since the store opened in 2009 are far greater than the impact fee, not to mention the hundreds of jobs created by the store.
Trudie Infantini was the only commisioner to support extending this moratorium.
She sited the fact that a fast food restaurant presently in West Melbourne would cancel plans to build an additional site in Viera –as their impact fees were estimated at $161,000! Really? These fees are nothing more than penalties for opening new business.
Many of the commisioners I think are of the opinion that the Publix Supermarkets, Sams Clubs and McDonalds can afford these fees and will come anyway. I adamantly disagree. Other counties and cities throughout Florida are waiving these fees to stimulate the economy.
They are making it easier for businesses to expand and open new locations which leads to more jobs and a healthier economy. These impact fees will be imposed on all new construction if allowed to be reinstated.
What does this mean to you and me?
How about an additional $5,000 on residential construction? How about $10,000’s – if not $100,000’s– on commercial construction? If you think you are having issues with new construction appraisals now, wait until these fees are passed onto buyers – will your first time home buyer be able to handle this? I doubt it.
I was the only Realtor to speak at this meeting, along with 10 to 15 builders and contractors. This is a very important issue that I think deserves each and every one of our attention. The best way to derail our real estate come back is to further hinder new construction. The thought of these fees returning has already caused several projects to be put on hold.
If these fees come back, couple them with the proposed half cent sales tax that the school board will be pushing again. How great will our come back be then?
These are my sentiments only and are not endorsed by SCR. I will fight this fight as a Realtor, as a commercial broker, a commercial developer and as a business owner.
If you agree that this will hurt our economy, I would appreciate your input and support. Reach out and let your voices be heard, e-mail your commissioner show up at the meetings and do not let this go unnoticed.
Tim Harber is a Realtor specializing in residential and commercial properties throughout Brevard County, Florida and has been active since 1987. Prior to becoming a Realtor he was a successful sales manager for a national retailer specializing in home improvement as well as the sales manager of a custom homebuilder.