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HomeBusiness & CommunityCommissioners in Agreement on Impact Fee Increase

Commissioners in Agreement on Impact Fee Increase

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The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) discussed potential increases to Impact Fees at the April 23 regular mee The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) discussed potential increases to Impact Fees at the April 23 regular meeting. The board is in general agreement that impact fees should be increased. By the end of this meeting, Commissioners mostly agreed to consider raising Impact Fees on single-family homes from $5,757 to the maximum of $13,052.

Commissioner Steve Champion supports an increase, but no more than $12,785, a scenario in which Transportation fees are set to the maximum of $6,220, keeping all other rates as they are.

Public workshops will be held before two public hearings, where the Board will vote on the final fees.
The County is considering using Special Circumstances, a regulation that allows a local government to depart from the normal 50 percent increase over four years, based on necessity. Without Special Circumstances, fees can increase by 12.5 percent per year, not to exceed 50 percent of the existing rate over a four-year period.

It is not certain at this time if Special Circumstances will allow for an accelerated rate increase inside of the four-year timeframe.

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Only single-family land use fees were discussed during this meeting, although new impact fees apply to all new construction in the county.

Impact Fees are distributed to provide revenue for Fire and EMS, Public Buildings, Correctional Facilities, Law Enforcement, Library Facilities, Parks and Recreation, Educational Facilities and Transportation.

Each category has a maximum allowable fee based on State Statute 163.31801. Increasing the allotment to each of these divisions to 75 percent of the maximum would account for the $13,052 fee.

Commissioner Brian Hawkins proposed a scenario with a 100 percent increase or maximum in all categories except education and transportation which would have a 75 percent increase. The new single-family home impact fee, in this case, would come to $12,785.

The County’s impact fees are tightly regulated by Florida State Statutes and have a complex system of implementation. Impact fees must comply with the “Dual Rational Nexus” test, which requires that the fees: 1) Be supported by a study demonstrating that the fees are proportionate in amount to the need created by new development paying the fee; and 2) Be spent in a manner that directs a proportionate benefit to new development, typically accomplished through establishment of benefit districts and a list of capacity-adding projects included in the County’s Capital Improvement Plan, Capital Improvement Element, or another planning document/Master Plan.

Impact Fees can only be adjusted once every four years and may only be decreased in the interim.
Florida Statute 163.31801 also governs how fees are set using recent and localized data obtained from an official study. On April 4, 2022, Benesch, the County’s consulting firm, submitted its final study.
The last time Hernando County raised impact fees was in 2020, when Education Facilities and Transportation were increased to 50 percent of the maximum fee. All other divisions were adjusted in 2013.

Impact fees are calculated using 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 substantially increased since the last fee adjustment.

Credit: Hernando County Government

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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