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New Florida Law Limits Local Impact Fee Increases

Google Earth image of land.png
South Florida Wildlands Association/Google Earth
The 64,000-acre area which would contain the proposed Bellmar, Longwater, and Rivergrass Villages (southern half of Rivergrass), the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, and other rural lands.

Last month Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 337 into law. It limits the ability of local governments to raise impact fees, the primary tool local governments use to finance required infrastructure for new developments. Now, Florida counties and cities can only raise local impact fees by up to 50%. Increases between 25% and 50% must be spread out over four years, and increases below 25% must be phased in over two years, effectively limiting increases to 12.5% per year.

Critics argue that the bill will place the burden of paying for a developers’ needed infrastructure, like roads, water treatment facilities, emergency and fire services onto taxpayers.

We discuss the new law, and explore how it might impact two new developments just approved by the Collier County Board of Commissioners. Last week Collier commissioners voted to approve two new residential developments in the rural eastern part of the County: Belmar and Longwater Villages. Collier Commissioner Penny Taylor was the single dissenting vote against the proposed villages.

Penny Taylor, Collier County Commissioner
Matthew Schwartz, Executive Director, South Florida Wildlands Association
Jane West, Policy and Planning Director of 1000 Friends of Florida