After 9 years of developers receiving a significantly discounted rate on Transportation Impact Fees, the Orange County Board of Commissioners has voted to increase the fee. In 2012, the Board voted to discount these fees to spur more development after the recession, however, the board never voted to increase the fees again, resulting in a lack of funds to improve services and transportation in many areas, including Horizon West.
When a new residential development is started, Orange County conducts a study to determine how much Impact Fees are needed to offset the cost of the development. In areas that are already served by existing services with adequate roads, these fees are typically low. In areas that lack services with inadequate roads, such as Horizon West, these fees are often calculated much higher. However, for the past 9 years, developers have only been paying 38% of what the assessed Impact Fee, due to the previously passed discounts.
While developers have continued to pay a minimum in impact fees, the cost of road construction has drastically gone up over the same period. In 2012, a 1-mile stretch of road cost approximately $2 million, but currently it has gone up to over $3 million, stretching the little funds being received extremely far.
With a 6-1 vote and support by Commission Nicole Wilson, who represents Horizon West, Orange County increased the Impact Fees to 100% of the assessed fee. According to the Orlando Sentinel, a new 2,000 sq foot home in Horizon West will change from $3,898 to $10,138. This increase will take effect in December and will give Orange County more funds to improve services and roads in Horizon West.
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