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Florida House approves bill limiting increases in impact fees on new construction

An overflow crowd attended a public hearing on impact fees in Sumter County. Photo: Joe Byrnes
An overflow crowd attended a public hearing on impact fees in Sumter County. Photo: Joe Byrnes

A bill that passed the Florida House Wednesday would roll back recent increases in local fees imposed on new construction.

It could be a big win for The Villages developer after Sumter County raised its road impact fees by 75% last month.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Nick DiCeglie of Pinellas County and co-sponsored by Villages-area Rep. Brett Hage.

Hage, by the way, reported last year that he received more than 141-thousand dollars in income from the Holding Company of The Villages.

The bill limits impact fee increases to 12 1/2 percent in one year and 50% over four years and makes that rule retroactive to the beginning of this year.

DiCeglie says they've added "a relief valve" in case local governments really do need to go higher.

"And that relief valve requires a study within the last 12 months. It requires two public workshops. It requires a two-thirds vote," he said.

In Sumter County, that last bar was not met.

A similar impact fee bill is awaiting a vote in the Senate.

Joe Byrnes came to Central Florida Public Media from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.