SB 360 Mobility Fees Underway for New Developments in Hillsborough County

11/30/09 Concettta DeLuco
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Last Spring, the Florida Legislature passed and Governor Charlie Crist signed a controversial growth management bill. As the next step in implementing Senate Bill 360, a technical committee met today to discuss how to calculate the newly established mobility fees for new developments in Hillsborough County.

The mobility fee technical committee consists of elected officials and several transit and county staff. Kevin White is from the Hillsborough County’s Transportation and Land Development Review Division. He said the mobility fee is proposed to help pay the costs of transit improvements needed for new development projects.

When Governor Crist signed SB 360 into law it was controversial. Pro-development groups argued in favor of the law. They say it will ease the process for new development which will help jumpstart growth in Florida and create jobs. Yet because Florida has more foreclosures than any state except Nevada, opponents of SB360 argued new development is the last thing Florida needs. The controversy, White said, is rooted in the main difference between the new mobility fee and what Hillsborough County uses now-concurrency.

As outlined in SB 360, White said, the mobility fees would be calculated according to the vehicle miles per travel or VMT.

In determining the mobility fees, the committee divided Hillsborough into 44 districts.

Last month, the Hillsborough County Commission agreed to place a one-cent referendum on the 2010 ballot to fund a transit makeover. If it passes, 25% will go toward road improvements and 75% is allotted for bus and rail systems. Mobility fees will cover similar transit changes. The difference will be the source of funding. White said at this point, some proposed development projects may be temporarily paid for by the tax.

White said the mobility fees are expected to replace the Hillsborough County’s concurrency methods in 2012. The fees will only be applied to proprosed future development projects. The concurrency method will still be applied to developments that have been approved prior to 2012 or are presently underway.

The next step for executing SB360 is for the appointed policy committee to convene to consider the mobility fees and discuss further implementation. The meeting is set for December 15 at the County Center.

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