Bill would eliminate impact fees in Florida until 2012

03/16/09 Mitch E. Perry
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A bay area senator angered environmentalists before the legislative session began when he filed a bill that would block the collection of developer impact fees for three years.

Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, says the way impact fees are imposed is totally unfair and inappropriate.

Hillsborough County Environmental activist Denise Layne says Bennett’s bill and other proposals aim to deregulate the building process this year.

The foreclosure crises has hit Florida hard, with some economists saying the state has a two-year glut of housing right now. Sen. Bennett acknowledges that there is no need for much new housing right now, but he thinks the state should approach it with a scalpel, not a hatchet.

But he said his bill –SB630 and others in the Legislature would knock out duplicity and what he says are extraneous government costs.

Layne says impact fees are based on the price of a house and the size of its square footage. She says the problem for infrastructure is growing not shrinking.

Another bill sponsored by Bennett – SB 360 - would eliminate most state growth management review of big new developments proposed for Hillsborough County and other cities and counties in Florida.

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