County Planning Director Ron Pianta kicked off the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) workshop held on May 4, 2021. The impact fee study was approved by the board in February 2020 for the purpose of studying the impact fees for the service areas of fire / rescue, EMS and public buildings, correctional facilities, law enforcement, library facilities and parks and recreation.
The study presented at the May 4th meeting was approved, however Commissioner John Allocco wants more specificity in land use categories when the matter comes before the board during a regular meeting to determine 2021 impact fee rates.
Recent legislation (House Bill 337 and Senate Bill 750) has changed the limit on fee increases. Fees cannot increase by more than 12.5% per year, and cannot be increased more than 50% of the existing rate and cannot be increased more than once every four years. The exception to this rule is a demonstration of extraordinary circumstances in the past 12 months, discussed in two public workshops. The increase would need to be approved by 2/3rds of the BOCC.
Impact fees are calculated by the following formula: Cost to add capacity minus non-impact fee revenue from future development multiplied by population ((cost – credit) * demand). The cost portion pertains to the current value of land and buildings, which has undoubtedly increased since the last fee adjustment.
Pianta reported that the fees were last reviewed in 2012, and in order to meet statutory requirements, fee schedules and rates need to be reviewed periodically. Local ordinance recommends every 5 years. The study is important because fees need to be based on most recent and localized data, and the fees need to be proportional to the impact. “The study has to validate the fees that [the county] is charging.”
Nilgün Kamp, a certified planner with Tindale Oliver presented the report of the study. Hernando County is continuing to experience growth and is projected to add approximately
52,000 permanent residents by 2045, which is a 25 percent increase in population.
According to the report, Hernando County’s impact fees are consumption-based, rather than needs-based. A consumption-based impact fee charges new development based upon the burden placed on services from each land use (demand). The demand component is measured in terms of population.
The principal purpose of an impact fee is to assist in funding the implementation of projects identified as capital improvement programs for the facility/service categories. They cannot be used for any other purpose.
The findings of the report will be used to set the new impact fee rates, in consideration of recent legislation that sets a limit on fee increases.