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January 31, 2015

Sanibel: Help prevent tax increase

Help us restore full impact fees in Lee County......

ACTION NEEDED TODAY: Lee  County Commissioners will be voting Tuesday on a measure that affects  us all.  We need your help on this important vote.

Impact fees are imposed on builders to help defray the cost of

development-driven infrastructure -- like schools, roads and parks. They can account for millions of dollars in county revenue that otherwise would have to come in the form of higher taxes to county residents.

Two years ago the Lee County Board of County Commissioners reduced impact fees by 80% for a two-year period which is about to expire. The country was still in recession and they said the reduction was needed to stimulate construction and create jobs in Lee County. The loss in revenues to the county over that two-year period has been reportedly about $32 million.

Next Tuesday, February 3, the commissioners will consider extending the reduction in impact fees beyond the original two years.  We think that would be a mistake and are urging a return to full impact fees.  Here's why:

  • The $32 million the county has lost will have to be made up somehow and the burden will fall on Lee County taxpayers.
  • The economy is back on track and home building is on the rise-- even in localities where there has been no reduction in impact fees. The argument that the reduction in fees is still needed to spur development just doesn't hold up given the experience in other localities.
  • The cost of development-driven infrastructure should be borne principally by those who will benefit most from those improvements - not the taxpayers of Lee County.

If you agree with us that the reduction in impact fees must be ended now, please send a message to the commissioners and tell them how you feel. Below are the names and email addresses of the County Commissioners. Simply click on each address to send an email....

Please contact the commissioners today so that your voice will be heard. This issue is too important for us to remain silent.

Thank you.

Jim Beauchamp

COTI President

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