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Sumter commissioners agree they’ll have to rescind impact fee increase


Sumter County commissioners agreed Tuesday that they will have to reverse a 75% increase in impact fees approved earlier this year.

The increase in fees for new construction was going to take effect next week.

But a new state law caps increases at 50% phased in over four years. Anything higher requires a supermajority.

And the Legislature made the cap retroactive to the beginning this year.

A hearing to restore the old fees is planned for next month.

The county administrator says the commission signaled no desire to increase the fees again.

But Commissioner Oren Miller says he IS interested in any increase they can make with a majority vote.

Back in 2019, the County Commission boosted property taxes by 25 percent, partly to pay for road construction needed for The Villages.

Many homeowners were outraged. And three of those commissioners lost their seats the next year.

The new ones wanted builders, like the Villages developer, to cover more the cost for growth.

The law that ties commissioners’ hands was co-sponsored by local State Rep. Brett Hage, who reported earning $350,000 working for The Villages last year.

 


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes

Reporter

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV 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.

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