Gov. Ron DeSantis signed 24 bills into law late Friday, including a measure that limits local impact fees imposed on builders and developers to help pay for infrastructure to handle growth.
The latest group of bills earning DeSantis’ signature from the 2021 Legislative session were announced in an email with accompanying transmittal letters to Secretary of State Laurel Lee, lacking the fanfare of a trio of bills focused on military families and veterans the governor signed earlier in the day during a ceremony at American Legion Palm Valley Post 233 in St. Johns County.
The new laws include the creation of a 10-member task force to study unmarked and abandoned African-American cemeteries (HB 37); an effort to crack down on “swatting” by establishing felony charges for falsely reporting a crime in which a police response results in death or great bodily harm (HB 371); and a requirement that school districts notify parents they can exempt children from lessons on reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS (HB 545).
The impact fee measure (HB 337) drew opposition from the growth-management organization 1000 Friends of Florida, which on Thursday urged members to call on DeSantis to veto the bill.
The bill, like most of the measures signed Friday, was transmitted from the Legislature to the governor’s desk on Thursday.
The law, which took effect immediately upon DeSantis’ signature, prevents local governments from increasing impact fees more than once every four years and limits the increases to 50 percent. Increases between 25 and 50 percent would have to be spread over four years. Smaller increases would be phased in over two years.
The law includes a provision that retroactively limits impact-fee increases made since Jan. 1, 2021.
The changes will make it “virtually impossible for local governments to require that new development pays its own way,” 1000 Friends of Florida said in an email to supporters on Thursday.
“Existing residents will shoulder even more of the costs associated with new development through raised taxes, declining roads, parks and other public infrastructure, or both,” the email said.
The bill would allow local governments to exceed the impact-fee limits but would require a study showing “the extraordinary circumstances requiring the additional increase.” Also, the local governments would have to hold at least two workshops and approve the increases by at least a two-thirds vote.
During legislative debate about the bill on April 22, Senate sponsor Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, pointed to recent increases in impact fees that exceeded 150 percent in Orange County and 80 percent in Hillsborough County.
“This bill is all about predictability, to make sure that people can plan and go through a project and understand exactly what the cost is going to be,” Gruters, who also serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, said at the time. “When you have these types of massive increases, it hurts everybody. We hope that local governments can plan accordingly.”
Opponents of the new law countered that the impact fee increases by the two counties were the first hikes in nearly a decade.
–Jim Turner, News Service of Florida
House prices have shot up creating record profits for the developers. At the same time school costs and cost for road improvements have skyrocket, yet the developers that are making record profits are not required to share those profits for infrastructure improvements. The burden of the infrastructure costs are put on the Taxpayers back, so politicians can collect more campaign money. It’s a totally corrupt system. Those politician need to be run out of office!!!
Stephen J Smith says
This is just another example of State Government protecting business profits by shifting their costs onto the property taxpayer. They win. We lose.
@To the victims of this textbook example of elected Republican’s charity for fat cats – at YOUR expense
You’ve repeatedly elected and re-elected these crumbs, when you’re not haggling with waiters and cashiers about your senior discount, parroting fox, newslax, and AM hate radio — or banging your keyboard and wearing out your thumbs on your phone harrumphing and insulting FlaglerLive and/or whining when someone calls BS on your trolling.
Anyone want to hazard a guess about what renner and hutson were up to when this was hatched? Ah hell, you know. But in case you don’t – read them and weep:
Duh Florida Senate:
Duh Florida House of Representatives:
Okay, break time is over — you can go back to making more of the worst choices possible for Flagler County and Palm Coast. You can do it. You’ve had plenty of practice.
The Voice Of Reason says
Classic republican sprawl served up upon the backs of the foolish voters/taxpayers in this state. It’s one thing after another with craphead desantis. How much abuse can you fools take? scott, desantis, trump. Give me another please! Special interests and photo ops are all that matter to these losers.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
Once a victim, twice a fool. Who is to blame? Those who vote ‘straight party line’ – does not matter who the candidates ( incumbents) are, what they stand for , nor what tax breaks they give their pals is of no importance . All of us in Flagler County have had a choice, in the past two elections to replace ‘party puppet’ Paul Renner with a real caring hard working people person – Adam Morley. But ohhhh he is a Democrat and we can’t have any Democrats nope – gotta be party line Republican all the way.
No, I don’t like Biden; Kamela even less. I would have preferred Tammy Duckworth as Vice President but that does not affect my choices locally. Yep I voted against Biden but that means nothing when it comes to what is best for Flagler County nor should it!
When are we going to vote for the PERSON not the PARTY? Until then we have no one to blame other than ourselves for having mud thrown in our faces and grubby hands in our wallets to protect the fat cats. Why are we even surprised at Hutson or Renner’s votes; they both have no mind of their own nor do either of them give a rat’s behind for us but we keep them in power because most of us vote straight party line…
Very disheartening, very sad and very very costly to all of us. How do you all see it?