6

YOU CAN'T SEE THE REVENUE

FOR THE MILLAGE

"If the County Commissioners had been satisfied with the same amount of property tax revenue this year (1991) as the County received last year they could have reduced the millage rate by 5.13% instead of increasing it 3.35%." reports Carol Hayes of The Reporter newspaper. "They could have set the aggregate total millage at 5.43 mills instead of 5.92 mills."

So, how is your property tax bill calculated?

Simply put, your ad-valorem (property value based) taxes are determined by how much the government spends. The more they spend (wisely or not) the more you as a taxpayer must pay. Using debt bonds, the government can spend more, or even lower taxes for a short time. But using debt bonds shifts the burden to the future, with interest - just like using a credit card.

The actual amount on your tax bill is basically determined by four factors:

1) The millage tax rate for each tax year. One mil is 1/10 of a cent. Or in tax jargon, one mil represents $1 per $1,000 of assessed value. For example: if the millage rate is 4.423 and your assessment is $70,000, then your tax will be $309.61 (.004423 mils X 70,000 or 4.423 X 70).

2) The assessed or just value of your property. It is established by the Property Appraiser's office. The percentage of fair market value at which property must be assessed is mandated by the State of Florida. Currently assessments must fall within 15% of current market value. For example: If homes comparable to yours are selling around $100,000, your property assessment should be around $85,000.

3) Any exemptions you may have such as the $25,000 Homestead Exemption on your home.

4) Special assessments. These are all non ad-valorem taxes such as stormwater management and solid waste management. Each year the list continues to grow as County Commissioners find another item to tack onto your tax bill. These have nothing to do with the value of your property.

The total county wide ad-valorem taxes collected each year amounts to the total assessed value of all the property in the County multiplied by the appropriate millage rate. Likewise, in calculating its budget each year, the County Commission divides their desired revenue by the total assessed property values to arrive at that year's millage rate.

In recent years, the Florida Department of Revenue's enforcement and audit measures to insure compliance with the state mandated requirements have increased and the fair market value of property has gone up bringing assessed values up, a point spenders of your tax dollars would prefer you not grasp. When these assessed property values rise, the total collected taxes increase, even when the millage rate remains the same as the prior year. In other words, to provide the same amount of tax revenue as the previous year, the County Commission could reduce the millage rate. The amount of this reduction is referred to as the Roll Back rate. When property values go up and the County Commission increases the millage rate, you just got a double whammy tax increase.

Jane Walker, a taxpayer from Merritt Island, says, "I only recently began to realize how the taxing authorities, by keeping the same millage rate as they had the year before, gain added revenue when property is reassessed upward from the year before. Instead of rolling the millage rate back consistent with the increased property assessments, they tell the taxpayers they didn't raise the millage rate. The truth is that they raised more tax revenue by not reducing the millage rate because of the increased tax base."

Ms. Walker continued, "It is a sad state of affairs when our elected representatives do not act responsibly in representing the will of the people."

There is another point to consider when the County Commission calculates the total tax revenue and the millage rate required to generate that revenue. The value from new construction is not by law calculated in the roll back rate and therefore represents additional revenue which could have been, but has not been, used to reduce the tax millage rate even more. You just got a triple whammy.

For example the Florida Today article written by John Nagy on September 18, 1991 did not tell the whole story when they implied the average property tax only went up 3.3% after the County's Budget Hearings.

Carol Hayes of The Reporter newspaper, reports a more complete description of this taxing phenomena:

"The lower millage would generate the same amount of money for the General Fund as last year because of the additional revenue received from new construction and because of the increase in property values. As it is, the millage increase of 3.35% for the coming year will raise 9% more property tax revenue than last year and the budget will expand accordingly," reports Carol Hayes.

Florida Law mandates how the Property Appraiser's office is to figure your property's assessed value, they have no choice. This law requires all residential property to be assessed at the "just value" which is approximately 85% of the current market value. As a result of years of lagging assessments, gaps between the assessed value and the market value grew. In some years property assessments could have changed drastically.

New construction has added almost a billion dollars of property value in the last two years. The County Commissioners did not add this money into the taxing base before the new millage rate was figured for each year. This has provided a windfall to the county of over $4.1 million extra tax dollars to play with for the last two years. Had new construction been included in the tax rate (millage) computation in those years, there would have been a drop in the property tax rate. The estimated new construction value for the up coming 1992/1993 fiscal year is $279.5 million, which will generate around $1.2 million in extra taxes for the County Commission according to Property Appraiser Jim Ford.

John Nagy of Florida Today wrote an article July 1, 1992 talking about land assessments and that the County has had a decrease in new construction due to the recession. Many believe, he did not cover the whole story when he wrote, "If your land's assessment increases, so too could your tax bill."

He could have presented the other side of the story - when assessments go up, the County can reduce your millage rate in order to receive the same number of tax dollars as last year. This was also an excellent opportunity to educate the public on how the County Commission has really been ripping the people off during the boom years, by not including new construction values when the millage rate was determined each year. He either chose to not cover this part of the story or he did not dig deep enough to get the facts.

The total value of property in Brevard County in 1991/1992 fiscal year was $13.33 Billion versus $13.056 Billion for the new Fiscal year 1992/1993. Now, after the Boom years, this year sees the property values decreasing so in order for the County to receive the same revenue as last year, they must increase or roll-up the millage rate unless they cut spending or add in the value of new construction.

In 1991, Jim Ford, Brevard County's Property Appraiser, wrote the Chairman of Brevard County's Legislative Delegation (this group consists of Brevard's state representatives and state senators) requesting some tax relief for the taxpayer. He asked them to sponsor a bill to require new construction value to be added into the original tax base calculation by all taxing authorities. Nothing was ever done with his request.

Dale Young of Melbourne who is on the Citizens Budget Review Committee believes, "The Legislative Delegation needs to change the tax law to include new construction in setting the millage, especially now that the impact and service fees are being charged to provide the necessary new services. They need to place a consumer index-related cap on the amount of increase that can be levied on all taxes, not only property tax. They need to address the homestead exemption to place minimum and maximum levels with a percentage assessment above that maximum level."

The taxpayer's property taxes continue to rise while at the same time some members of the Board of County Commissioners make decisions to:

1) exempt the owner of the new Government Center from paying property taxes in violation of state law because they agreed to pay the taxes for the owner

2) purchase the old Florida Today newspaper building in Cocoa containing asbestos, thereby taking it off the property tax rolls

3) give Viera road impact fee exemptions

4) waste tax dollars on an emergency evacuation of the Titusville Courthouse

5) pledge sales tax money for golf courses to help developers instead of pledging it for jails or courthouses. (See chapter 9)

"Annual County Budget preparations start around May and proceed through the summer to public meetings in September. If you want your point of view to be known and to make some difference, don't wait until September to contact your elected County and City Commissioners, let them know ahead of time."

7

A TAXPAYER AND HIS MONEY

ARE SOON PARTED

"Your final tax bill may contain non-ad valorem assessments which may not be reflected on this notice, such as assessments for roads, fire, garbage, lighting, drainage, water, sewer, or other governmental services and facilities which may be levied by your county, city or special district." appears in small print on the bottom of your tax bill.

Each August, property tax owners receive the Truth in Millage (TRIM) notices, alerting the taxpayer of their proposed property taxes. What they aren't told about are all the other taxes that will be due when they pay these property taxes.

Dale Young, a member of the Brevard County Citizen Budget Review Committee, states, "the other special assessments used to broaden the tax take, such things as special service taxing districts (Viera), stormwater or water management districts, sales tax, local gas taxes, port and inlet assessments, permits, licenses, inspection and user fees are all part of the fragmented tax bite, fragmented to reduce taxpayer awareness and the subsequent howl of indignation."

From 1980 to 1990, Brevard County's population increased 46%. During fiscal years 1981 to 1991, the County's General Property Tax (Ad valorem taxes) went from $23.4 million to $74.8 million amounting to a 220% increase. The Special Assessments (Non-Ad valorem taxes) went from $15,213 to $999,232, a whopping 6,468% increase.

Last fall, Property Appraiser Jim Ford wrote each member of Brevard's state Legislative Delegation. This delegation consists of Brevard's state senators and state representatives: Senators Patsy Kurth and Winston "Bud" Gardner; and Representatives Charles Sembler, Irlo "Bud" Bronson, Frank Stone, Harry Goode, Jr., Dixie Samson and Charlie Roberts. He wrote them, "What we need now is for the Legislature to enact a 'Truth in Taxation provision." If this bill was enacted it would force all the Florida counties to list all non-ad valorem taxes on the advance notice, so that the property owners would know up front what their entire tax bill would be. Senator Patsy Kurth filed a bill to amend Florida Statute 200.069 to do just that. The Senate rejected it, and no representatives wanted to sponsor it for a vote in the House.

A newsletter of the East Merritt Island Homeowner's Association gives an example of the continuing tax bill deception on one property owner's tax bill.

In August of 1991, the homeowner received an ad valorem (property) tax estimate of $353.98, which included taxes for County, schools, and other taxing bodies.

However, when the actual bill came, it also included $212.69 of non-ad valorem taxes (special assessments): recycling pickup ($15), stormwater($36), ambulance (28.69), solid waste disposal ($61) and solid waste collection ($72).

So instead of a tax for $353.98 as the August estimate indicated, the homeowner had a total tax liability of $566.67.

As the Brevard County's spending climbs past $600 million per year and the total debt exceeds $500 million an important question should be considered, who pays for all of this? You do!

The census bureau reports that Brevard County's population increased around 46% from 1980 to 1990 from 272,959 residents to 389,978. Based upon the Brevard County 1991 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Brevard County's revenue has greatly surpassed the population trend.

 

8

HOME IS WHERE THE DOLLAR IS

"Our only hope for controlling the rate of assessments is to get the constitution amended. The Save Our Homes ballot initiative will do this." said Marty Adams of Rockledge, working with the Citizens Coalition for Tax Equity to give Floridians some tax relief on their homes.

During the Depression era thousands of Floridians lost their homes because they were unable to pay their property taxes. With this a fresh memory, the Florida Legislature created the Homestead Exemption law. Under this new legislation homeowners were exempted from paying property taxes on the first $5,000 of assessed value, and at the time the market value of most homes fell below that. As property values skyrocketed in the 1970's the Legislature increased the exemption to $25,000.

However, that has been of little help in a period of rapidly incrasing property values. Homeowners who once paid little or no taxes have been forced to pay tax bills that seemed to increase exorbitantly.

This has resulted in part from high assessed values due to higher selling prices for homes in your neighborhood. Current state law requires the property appraiser to maintain assessments in accordance with increases in market value.

The Save Our Homes petition drive is an effort to take out the uncertainness by limiting the annual rate of increase on the assessed value of a homestead to 3% or less; regardless of what happens in the market place.

The petition drive for this Constitutional Amendment started when Ken Wilkinson, Lee County's Property Appraiser, decided something had to be done to protect Floridians' homes - something similar to what California did when they passed Proposition 13 to protect their homes. Brevard County Property Appraiser Jim Ford took up the effort as Brevard County Coordinator for Save Our Homes and joined hands with Wilkinson to help the taxpayer.

But four years running the Florida Legislature refused to put the Save Our Homes Constitutional Amendment before the public on a general election ballot. It was therefore essential that the people of Florida take action.

In accordance with the State Constitution, with enough signatures Floridians can petition to place a referendum on the ballot at the next general election. It required 8% of the voters who voted in the last election, or in this case, roughly 363,800 people to sign a petition in favor of the assessed valuation limitation. In addition to the required signatures, it also required that ten of the nineteen congressional districts in existence at the time of the last general election also have 8% of the voters in those districts sign the petition. It sounds almost hopeless. But never fear the people of Florida are about to pull it off.

Gene Sterling of Merritt Island joined hands with Property Appraiser Ford and organized small groups of volunteers to gather the necessary signatures for District 11 here in Brevard. They relentlessly persevered by standing for countless hours in all kinds of weather in front of neighborhood stores and shopping centers.

Brevard County should be proud. Over 48,000 petitions were signed. By August 4, 1992 each petition signature, to be counted as legal, has to be verified as that of a registered voter. The office of the Supervisor of Elections Shirley Baccus, should verify the signatures as they are handed in by the volunteers. But as of July 7, 1992 they have only verified around 23,000 of the 48,000. Gene Sterling and his volunteers are hard at work gathering more signatures to be sure the required number of legal signatures is met.

As of July 1992 over 363,800 signatures have been obtained statewide, so the first requirement has been met. And it appears that the necessary ten districts will turn in petitions for the required 8% of voters in order to succeed in getting the referendum on the ballot.

The referendum will appear as HOMESTEAD VALUATION LIMITATION on the general election ballot in November of 1992. Specifically it calls for:

Changes in homestead property assessment shall not exceed the lower of:

three percent (3%) of the assessment for the prior year

the percent change in the Consumer Price Index

No assessment shall exceed just value

After any change of ownership, the homestead property shall be assessed at just value as of January 1 of the following year

Why should you vote yes on the Homestead Valuation Limitation?

Brevard County Property Appraiser Jim Ford explains, "Save Our Homes is an attempt to control the assessment part of the taxing process. Save Our Homes, if passed, would force government taxation and spending to be focused upon the tax millage rate, and prevent the hidden revenue taxing authorities receive by not reducing tax rates when property assessment increases take place."

In speaking with the Reporter newspaper, Jim Ford gave an example of the expected savings to homeowners if all the taxing authorities had held their spending of property tax revenue to the consumer price index between 1988 and May 1991. The owner of a typical riverfront residential property, with an assessed value of $87,380 in 1987 increasing to $144,510 in 1991, pays approximately $2,500 in property taxes today. Under the Homestead Valuation Limitation the taxpayer would only have to pay approximately $1,870 in taxes for 1991.

Property Appraiser Ford also emphasized that since taxing authorities have not been reducing the tax millage rates to offset these rising assessments, the impact on a taxpayer is greater than it should be.

If you have had unexpected jumps in your home's assessed value and want to eliminate the overburdened taxpayer feeling in the future, then you should support the Homestead Valuation Limitation on November's ballot.

+ Can you increase the referendum's chances of passage by pointing out the benefits to your friends and co-workers?

9

THE HAND IS QUICKER

THAN THE EYE

"Agricultural interests are helping stop Florida from collecting millions in back taxes when farmland is developed. Despite its financial crisis, Florida has never made a serious effort to fix widely acknowledged loopholes in the state's agricultural tax exemption. The result: Developers save millions of dollars in property taxes that are routinely collected in most states to help make growth pay its way," according to a special report done by the Orlando Sentinel July 20, 1992.

Encouraging the preservation of farmlands, timberland, and productive agricultural land, Florida passed the first of its kind, greenbelt law in 1959 which ties the property tax of farmland to its agricultural income rather than its market value.

"In high-growth areas that means very low taxes. but the law doesn't specify how much of the land must be cultivated and doesn't mandate that it be farmed for profit," states a July 20, 1992 Associated Press article.

For taxing purposes this land is zoned as "greenbelt" areas. With this classification, property owners are given a lower taxable

property valuation, and thus lower taxes per acre than developed land. "For example in 1990, the Dudas paid $10,200 in property taxes on 2,700 acres of cattle pasture, site of the first phase of Viera," per the Sentinel paper. "If Florida recaptured those back taxes like other states do; then the Dudas would have paid nearly $2 million in additional local property taxes on those 2,700 acres."

Once a property owner begins to develop a parcel, the Property Appraiser removes the greenbelt classification and appraises the property at full value.

According to an Associated Press article, most states collect reimbursement of those back tax subsidies when the land is developed. Florida, which is losing more of its farmland each year than any other state, does not.

"'I think its outrageous,'" said Jim Riggie, project director of the American Farmland Trust, a Washington group dedicated to protecting agricultural lands. "'This should have caused a revolt in Florida by now. Legitimate farmers deserve a greenbelt exemption, but developers do not,'" he said.

Orlando Sentinel research revealed the following:

1.) No one in Florida state government knows how much of the savings goes to legitimate farmers or to developers taking advantage of the greenbelt loophole, according to the Sentinel.

2.) Florida loses an estimated 150,000 acres of farmland a year, the highest documented conversion rate in the nation. The state loses an average of 411 acres a day.

3.) Statewide, greenbelt exemptions reached $542 million last year, slightly more than is expected this year. The average greenbelt exemption reduces a property tax by 74 percent.

"Sure, some day the land could be developed. But right now it is cattle pasture. And it should be assessed and taxed as such. Florida's powerful farming lobby has blocked every reform effort," according to the Orlando Sentinel. "Farmers historically have feared that any legislative change might end up gutting the law."

"Instead of changing the law, farm leaders urge property appraisers to crack down on developers and speculators. Critics say that leaves the popularly elected appraisers in the unpleasant position of confronting two of the most powerful groups in Florida: developers and farmers."

"'It doesn't matter about intent; it's a question of whether you can see the cows,'" Lake County Property Appraiser Ed Havill said. "'It doesn't matter if those cows graze on $600-an-acre pasture in Yeehaw Junction or on $1 million-an-acre land near Walt Disney World soon to hold a gift shop,'" he told the Sentinel. The land can still be zoned the preferential greenbelt classification and be assessed lower property taxes.

Unlike Florida, most states have a mechanism to "recapture" back taxes when farmland is developed. But recapture is a political powder keg in Florida, where farmers fear it would limit the size of loans obtained with their land used as collateral.

Brevard County's Property Appraiser has realized the above problem and has been trying to appraise property correctly as it changes from agricultural to developed properties. However he is receiving stiff opposition by some County Officials.

As the Dudas new proposed city of Viera grew east of I-95 and north of Wickham Road, Brevard County's Property Appraiser Jim Ford denied the preferential greenbelt classification for approximately 2,661 acres. Not at all pleased at the prospect of losing the property tax advantage, the Viera Company appealed Ford's decision to the Value Adjustment Board. The Board agreed with the Property Appraiser that the land was now being developed and was subject to full valuation for taxing. But the Viera Company was not satisfied and appealed the valuation of the property to the Value Adjustment Board which had retained special masters to review and recommend any change in value. A concession was recommended in which the full valuation of $27.2 million was reduced by almost $12 million.

When the issue was returned to the Value Adjustment Board for a final decision, they were not obligated to accept the Special Master's recommendation. But they did. By a four to five vote, Commissioners Carol Senne, Sue Schmitt-Kirwan, Karen Andreas, and School Board member Lynn Demetriades did not support Property Appraiser, Jim Ford, but voted to allow the lower land valuation. School Board member Pat Manning, was the lone dissenting vote.

The Property Appraiser feels justified he is right in demanding full valuation of the parcel for the taxpayers of Brevard County. Jim Ford filed a lawsuit to try to prevent the reduction in property valuation, asking the Circuit Court to restore the assessed value his office placed on the property. The case is scheduled to go to trial in 1993.

Meanwhile, because of the actions of the Value Adjustment Board on this parcel, the property taxes for the Viera Company are about $213,789 lower this year, and County coffers are $213,789 poorer.

The following "Fixing Loopholes" came from the Orlando Sentinel's July 20, 1992 special report.

1.) Why can't back taxes be collected when farmland develops? Today, 33 states recapture from five to 20 years' back taxes on disappearing farmland.

2.) Or why can't restrictive Agreements be enacted? The farmer gets tax breaks by agreeing to continue agricultural use of land for a fixed period. Such agreements already exist in Florida, which gives tax breaks to owners of environmentally sensitive lands who promise not to develop.

3.) Or why can't purchase of development rights be enacted? Similar to restrictive agreements, state or local government buys development rights from landowner, then grants a tax break.

4.) Or why can't agricultural land be better defined? Court cases have shown that developers aren't required to run profitable farms to get agricultural tax breaks. This reform would require proof that a farm makes money, instead of simply operating as a pre-development tax shelter.

+ By law the Brevard County Commissioners can question which agricultural lands can receive the preferential greenbelt zoning. In a time of tight budgets, why doesn't the Commission take this opportunity to reevaluate which land in Brevard County should be truly zoned greenbelt?

Can Floridians fill tax coffers by asking the state Tax and Budget Reform Commission to place this recapture question on the ballot in the next year?

 

FOOTNOTE: On July 24, 1992, the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Staff ran the following editorial.

FAKE FARMERS SOW HIGH TAXES

Abuse of agricultural tax exemptions is not only unfair, it makes taxes higher for average Floridians. It's time for equity.

Most Florida legislators are all for standing up for the little guy. Unless, of course, that would put them at odds with certain powerful interests.

Such is the case with property taxes. The average Floridian's property tax bill is higher than it should be because legislators continue to let some high-powered companies, developers and land speculators abuse the agricultural tax exemptions.

Florida passed the "Greenbelt" law in 1959. The intent was to help farmers who couldn't afford to keep up their taxes as the value of their land skyrocketed.

But as a recent series in The Orlando Sentinel showed, that exemption has become a quick and easy recipe for a legal tax scam. You take one piece of prime property, toss in a few cows or pine seedlings, add a slick tax attorney, and ta-aaaa -- you've got yourself a farm. Sprinkle the Legislature generously with campaign contributions and this recipe is practically foolproof.

Never mind that the landowner can't tell a Holstein from a Halston, or a pine tree from a Peugeot. Any city slicker can whip up a quick farm and save thousands of dollars in property taxes each year.

But remember, every dime that those fake farmers save on their property taxes costs the average taxpayer more on his bill. It's outrageous that the Legislature still allows the powerful to enjoy such ridiculous - and lucrative - tax breaks.

The exemptions' vagueness makes it difficult for local tax appraisers to crack down on even the most flagrant abusers.

The first step the Legislature can take is to clarify the legal definition of agricultural land. Instead of land that "supports a bona fide commercial venture," the distinction should be that the land's primary use is to generate a profit from legitimate agricultural endeavors.

It also can start automatically revoking agricultural tax exemptions when the landowner gets the zoning changed to a higher status, such as commercial or residential.

Florida also needs to follow the lead of about 30 other states that have instituted recapture taxes. Under that system, when land loses its agricultural status and the owner sells it for a windfall profit, he has to make up the difference in the taxes he would have paid on the land for, say, the last five years, if it had been assessed at it fair market value.

Of course, for the Legislature to yank tax breaks away from high-rolling special interests, it will take a lot of courage and prompting of taxpayers who are tired of shouldering more than their fair share of property taxes.

In the front of each phone book is a listing of each County's State Senators and Representatives, addresses, and phone numbers.

10

GOOD FOR THE GOOSE,

BUT NOT FOR THE GANDER

In recent years many governments have found themselves unable to collect enough revenue from property taxes to feed their grossly expanding budgets. Many have discovered that they can collect fees for services that were once paid for only with tax dollars.

One of the largest sources are impact fees charged on all new construction. The collected funds are to be spent offsetting the costs of increased demand by increased population on services such as schools, road repairs, and police protection.

In unincorporated areas of Brevard County each new house built pays an impact fee of $1,106.53 which is often thrown into the cost of construction by the builder. As of July 1992, this impact fee consists of:

$855.00 for new road construction

$ 57.72 for emergency services

$ 33.81 towards County correctional costs

$160.00 for the county's landfill

The owners of each new home and office building built in Brevard County are required to pay impact fees, unless exempted by high County Officials.

According to research done by Carol Hayes of The Reporter newspaper, the County had a peculiar financing arrangement on the Government complex with the developer, Central Brevard Development, Inc., a subsidiary of A. Duda & Sons, Inc. Apparently it exempts them and the owner from impact fees unless the County chooses not to renew its annual lease.

County Attorney Bob Guthrie waived over $360,586 of impact fees that were due prior to the County moving into the five new Government Center buildings constructed in Viera.

Bear in mind that these expensive buildings do not belong to the County and are only leased.

In a July 9, 1992 article in The Reporter newspaper Carol Hayes wrote, "The County Commission agreed last month to reimburse the Viera Co. up to $1.3 million for construction of a road to the proposed new Sports Complex. The reimbursement comes in the form of an impact fee credit for the extension of Fiske Blvd. through Viera West south to St. Johns Street."

During negotiations for a Sports Complex for the Florida Marlins professional baseball team spring training facility, it was widely reported that the Viera Company would provide roads, sewer and water, along with a donation of 74 acres of land.

The credit, however, amounts to a waiver of $1.3 million in impact fees, which would otherwise be available for improvements to roads that will be adversely impacted by the stadium and the Viera Development.

County Commissioners approved the credit although the Fiske Extension has no priority designation. It is not included in the County Transportation Capital Improvements Program. It is not identified as a County collector or arterial road. And it is not included in the Viera Development of Regional Impact (D.R.I.).

Viera agreed to extend Fiske Boulevard only after it was tied into negotiations for the Marlins' Sports Complex and their share of road construction costs was limited to 30%.

An Inter Office (County) Memo dated December 18, 1991 described Viera West as "a destination...not a community where individuals drive thru to go somewhere else." The Fiske Extension does not meet County criteria as a transportation facility "associated with the arterial and collector network." The memo raises additional questions:

1) Allowing impact fee credits for roads not given official priority by the County sets a precedent that may extend to any land development. Credit agreements may result in drying up a significant source of money for the improvement of existing roads with a higher priority.

2) Other sources of road revenue are diminishing. "A significant decrease in impact fee receipts as a result of developer credit agreements could very well jeopardize the financial feasibility of the Transportation Departments's road improvement program."

+ Shouldn't every landlord be required to pay impact fees regardless of who their tenant is?

Why are there no exemptions allowed on individual homes while developers are allowed exemptions?

CHAPTERS 1-5 CHAPTERS 11-15