Growth management fees
Hillsborough County Planning and Growth is looking into charging developers a growth management fee variously described as a “mobility fee” or a “sprawl tax.” This could very well come on top of existing impact fees. Whether this new fee ultimately comes from the county or the state, the object is to collect money to offset the infrastructure costs of residential development that occurs away from the urban centers. In our case, the further away from one of the incorporated cities that home development occurs, the higher the fees that would be attached to the project. The rationale is that when people live away from where they work, shop or go to school, the added length of the average trip adds to traffic congestion and the need for more/better roads.
An alternative that few seem to be looking at is encouraging job growth closer to where people live. For instance, what could the County of Hillsborough do to assist the SouthShore Corporate Park located in Ruskin to fill its 4.5 million square feet of permitted light industrial space with tenant businesses that would provide jobs for South Hillsborough County residents? The one-time tax incentives that could be offered now would be more than offset by added business, property and sales taxes while reducing traffic.
The recently formed SouthShore Economic Development (SHED) Council has started a website, SHEDCouncil.com and will soon sponsor its first public meeting to focus on bringing jobs to the area. Visit the website for updates on economic development in Hillsborough County south of the Alafia River.
<IMHO> Fred Jacobsen