Presentation on theme: "School Impact Fees Produced by: Our ManateeOur Manatee Note: Text in blue are links to in depth information about the topic.blue Use the Escape (Esc) key."— Presentation transcript:
School Impact Fees Produced by: Our ManateeOur Manatee Note: Text in blue are links to in depth information about the topic.blue Use the Escape (Esc) key at any time to close this slide show.
What Are Impact Fees? The State of Florida, Statute 163.31801, authorizes local governments to collect fees from builders to help offset costs to the community that result due to that development. These impact fees include fees for:Statute 163.31801 Roads Water Sewer Storm Water Parks Fire Police Library Solid Waste Schools (47% of all impact fees)
School Impact Fees School impact fees in Manatee County are called “Educational Facilities Impact Fees”. There are restrictions as to how these fees may be used. Uses may include: New School Construction Land Acquisition including legal fees Ancillary Facility Costs Interest Costs School Bus Purchases Fleet Maintenance Facilities Administration Buildings Off-Site/Drainage Costs
Manatee County School Impact Fees School impact fees in Manatee County are based on the County Code of Ordinances: Part II, Chapter 2-29, Article VII, Division 2. Specifically Section 2-29-86Section 2-29-86 2 School Impact Fees Until July 27, 2009 $6,571.83 Example: Single Family Detached 3 Bedroom From Manatee County Website
BoCC Suspends School Impact Fee Collection in 2009 On May 19, 2009 the Manatee Board of County Commissioners approved Ordinance 09-36 which “suspend the charging and collection of educational facilities impact fees for a period of 2 years; providing for applicability; providing for severability; providing for codification and providing an effective date of July 27, 2009”. See minutes.Ordinance 09-36 See minutes Board members voting in favor of this ordinance were: Gwendolyn Brown, Carol Whitmore, Donna Hayes, Lawrence Bustle, John Chappie, and Ron Getman. Joe McClash dissented. Also present were Ed Hunzeker, County Administrator and Ted Williams, Jr., County Attorney. Names in bold print are presently board members or county employees.
BoCC Does It Again in 2011 On June 11, 2011 the BoCC approved Ordinance 11-22 which extended the suspension of school impact fees for two more years until July 27, 2013. See minutes.Ordinance 11-22 See minutes Board members voting in favor of this ordinance were: Carol Whitmore, John Chappie, Lawrence Bustle, Robin DiSabatino, and Donna Hayes. Joe McClash, and Michael Gallen dissented. Also present were Ed Hunzeker, County Administrator and Ted Williams, Jr., County Attorney. The BoCC passed no further extensions. So why aren’t school impact fees being collected now? Continued on next page. Names in bold print are presently board members or county employee’s.
Ordinance Requires a Study Ordinance 11-22, Section 3, states in part “During the aforesaid four-year period the County, in cooperation with the school board, shall conduct a study of the educational facilities impact fee, and …” An impact fee study was done in 2011, but the schools were excluded for unknown reasons. Other impact fees were raised slightly after that study, but not school impact fees. In January 2015 the School Board agreed to contribute up to $50,000 toward an impact fee study with the County. As of mid-April, no study had been conducted. Even after new fees are approved there will be a 90-day delay before they may be implemented. Are these delays intentional?
Why Did They Vote to Reduce Funding for Manatee Schools? It is not clear why the BoCC voted to suspend School Impact Fees, but the discussion during the meeting gives a clue. “Discussion: New schools are not needed; County cannot use School impact fees for its budget; builders are able to sell homes due to reduction created by reduced impact fees; etc.” Those are bad arguments. It was clear in 2009 that more schools would be needed in the near future and that huge amounts of money would be required. If impact fees weren’t collected bonds would have to be sold to finance new schools In 2014 the service of the debt was already $43,000,000 which has to be paid by the taxpayers. New bonds would significantly increase that debt service amount.
New Schools Are Needed Some have argued that school impact fees may not be collected since there is excess capacity in some of our schools. That is not correct. There are areas of Manatee County that desperately need new schools and “portable classrooms” are not the answer nor is bussing students for hours each day which is not cost effective or reasonable. Secondly, “New schools are not needed.” leaves the impression that school impact fees may only be used for new school construction which is false. As stated in slide #3, school impact fees may also be used for other capital expenditures including school busses, interest on debt, ancillary buildings, etc.
It’s Not About the County It’s About the Schools The BoCC said, “The County can’t use school impact fees.” so why should they be concerned about collecting them. This is not about the county. It is about the schools and the education our children. NOTHING was said about that in the discussion. Why wasn’t the education of our kids EVER considered? Where are the BoCC’s priorities? And, “builders are able to sell homes due to reduction created by reduced impact fees”. That, perhaps, is the primary reason for the ordinance. Since when has it been the business of the county to reduce expenses for “builders” at the expense of the children?
School Bamboozled Yes, the School Board did vote to request a suspension of school impact fees, but why? At the March 23, 2009 School Board meeting, Superintendent Tim McGonegal recommended the moratorium, and he invited Mike Pendley, Executive Planner, to review this item for the Board. There was little discussion and no remarks about the effect it might have on the education of our children. It was moved by Robert Gause to approve a “one-year moratorium on collection of school impact fees” which was seconded by Barbara Harvey. All Board members, Robert Gause, Barbara Harvey, Harry Kinnan, Walter Miller, and Jane Pfeilsticker voted “Aye”. See minutes.See minutes. Names in bold print are presently board members or county employees.
If the School Board approved a 1- year, suspension why did the BoCC approve a 2-year suspension? The answer is that the Commissioners make the laws and don’t need any input from the Board of Education so they added on another year, which is what those who benefit most wanted anyway. Who benefited? You can be sure it wasn’t the educators or the tax payers of Manatee County. After all, school impact fees represent a whopping 47% of all impact fees paid by a home builder. More about that will probably come out in the investigation of a possible conspiracy.
It Didn’t Stop There. In 2011 before the first two-year suspension ended, the BoCC extended it another two years until July 2013. The School Board minutes for 2011 do not contain any request from the School Board to extend the suspension. On June 10, 2013 the School Board requested a one-year extension of the suspension. Robert Gause made the motion that was seconded by Barbara Harvey. Julie Aranibar, Karen Carpenter, Robert Gause, Barbara Harvey voted “Aye”. David Miner voted “Nay”. See minutes.See minutes. On May 27, 2014 Superintendant Rick Mills recommended the suspension of collection of school impact fees be extended one-year and the Board approved. No vote was provided on the website. See minutes.See minutes Names in bold print are presently board members or county employees.
Suspension Continues The BoCC failed to extend the suspension in 2013 and 2014, but School Impact Fees are still not being collected. At the June 24, 2014 School Board meeting, Rick Mills proposed a “Interlocal Agreement Between Manatee County Government and the School Board of Manatee County Regarding School Impact Fees” which was approved. Ten months later no agreement has been reached. Clearly something is wrong here. The school system has already lost at least $20,000,000.00 that the home builders should have paid. And, that does not include school impact fees for townhouses, duplexes, manufactured homes, and other residential housing.
Who is Paying? For almost six years, school impact fees (47% of all impact fees) have not been collected by Manatee County. So, who is paying for the capital expenditures the school impact fees would have covered? You, the tax payers, are. Everyone in the county pays an extra half-percent school sales tax on everything they buy, AND if you live in your own house or rent, you are paying a property tax. And, when new schools need to be built, where will the money come from? The county will have to sell bonds which will have to be paid back plus interest. In 2014 the School District had to pay $43,000,000 to “service the debt”. Imagine how much more it will cost when hundreds of millions of dollars more has to be borrowed.
The School System, After Refusing Impact Fees For Years Wants To: 1 – Raise property taxes as much as 1%. Depending on the assessed value of your house that would increase your property taxes hundreds of dollars. 2 – Increase the school tax – On top of the 7.572% we are already paying? 3 – Increase the sales tax - Already paying a half-percent extra 4 – Collect Impact Fees – Believe it when you see it 5 – Sell bonds – More debt + interest that we the tax payers will have to pay back 6 – Make budget cuts – Make the kids pay for the Boards’ mistakes.
What You Can Do Now 1 - Demand a totally independent investigation of the Manatee County School system and County government - including determining who originated the idea of suspending School Impact Fees. 2 – Demand that those responsible for this situation face the consequences - including within the school system, the county government, and non-government individuals. This would include criminal prosecution which may lead to fines and/or imprisonment. 3 – Insist on the resignation of those who have made bad decisions demonstrating incompetence. 4 – Do not vote for any increase in taxes until after all issues are addressed, solutions have been found, and those responsible punished. Promises not accepted.
What You Can Do Later 1 - Vote out of office those who did not stand up for education, for our schools, for our kids. 2 - Stay vigilant to make sure elected officials do what is best for all residents of Manatee County and not just best for those who financed their elections. Contact: email@example.com@gmail.com