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Affordable Housing & Impact Fees

May 23, 2007

Seemingly, the county has no understanding of the impact fees.  Although so much lip service is given to the issue of affordable housing, the county is yet again considering raising impact fees.  Common sense would indicate that higher impact fees would greatly impact the availability of affordable housing.  Higher impact fees are easily absorbed by into the cost of luxury homes that are so common in Sarasota but the proposed impact fee of $19,600 for a 2,000-square-foot is cost prohibitive for the average family who would live in such a home.  Sarasota has already become a playground for the wealthy as confirmed by Westfield’s by planned overhaul of South Gate Plaza to include a double sized Saks 5th Avenue.  Higher impact fees for new home would increase the cost of construction of new homes and will spur builders to continue to focus thier efforts on the luxury market.  This is not the way to address the affordable home issue.  The counties focus needs to be on it’s budget so that impact fees and real estate taxes can be lowered.

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