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Fla. Legislature Bill Would Regulate Local Impact Fees

If passed and signed by the governor, House and Senate bills would create new oversight for the money local governments charge developers to boost infrastructure.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Companion bills currently in the Florida Legislature’s House and Senate could create new regulations overseeing the impact fees charged by local governments for new real estate developments. Both houses still need to pass the bills and Gov. Ron DeSantis must sign them before they become law. If that happens, they would become effective on July 1, 2020.

Impact fees are imposed to fund the local infrastructure needed to meet the demands of the population growth caused by a development.

A staff analysis of the House bill, HB 637, says local impact fee ordinances must meet certain minimum statutory criteria: The calculation of an amount due must have a “rational nexus both to the need for additional capital facilities and to the expenditures of funds collected and the benefits accruing to the new construction”; and fee collection must occur after issuance of the building permit.

However, the imposition of various types of impact fees – ones targeted for different infrastructure needs – is currently at the discretion of each local government. The related bill in the Senate is SB 1066.

The bill requires counties, municipalities and special districts that adopt, collect or administer an impact fee to calculate the amount based on the most recent and localized data collected within the last 36 months and exclude any cost that doesn’t meet the definition of “infrastructure,” according to the staff analysis.

A local government must segregate revenues and expenditures of any impact fee that addresses the infrastructure needs in a separate impact fee trust fund. New or increased impact fees may not apply to current or pending permit applications submitted before the effective date of an ordinance imposing a new or increased impact fee.

The bill makes impact fee credits assignable and transferable from one development or parcel to another, providing they’re within the same impact fee jurisdiction and the same type of public facility to which the fee applies.

A local government must provide impact fee credits or other forms of compensation where a contribution is greater in value than the applicable impact fee.

The bill requires each county or municipality assessing impact fees to establish an Impact Fee Review Committee composed of seven full-time members and three alternate members. The Committee shall:

  • Establish policy and methodology for determining impact fees on new developments
  • Review proposed impact fees on each new development before the fee becomes final
  • Submit recommendations to the county or city commission
  • The recommendations must be presented at the meeting at which the impact fee on the new development will be discussed and voted
  • Review all proposed expenditures of the impact fee after adoption by the local government to ensure that the fee is used for capital projects within the jurisdiction

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