FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2019
Gov. Ron DeSantis signs impact fee consistency into law
HB 207 clarifies impact fee collection process, use of funds
Tallahassee — June 20, 2019 — Legislation clarifying the impact fee collection process and stipulating how funds are to be used has been signed into law. Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed Florida House Bill 207, which allows impact fees to be collected only after a building permit has been issued. In addition, HB 207 specifies that impact fee revenue may be used only for acquiring or improving capital facilities to serve the population associated with the new development.
“Without this law, the process for assessing and collecting impact fees varied throughout the state,” said Amanda Gill, government affairs director for the Florida Apartment Association, a statewide trade association for the multifamily rental housing industry. “The passage of this legislation was a top priority for the apartment industry because it establishes much needed consistency for apartment developers who work on projects across multiple jurisdictions."
HB 207, sponsored by Rep. Byron Donalds, passed the House on March 27 by a vote of 101 to 12 and passed in the Senate on April 4 by a vote of 39 to 1. The legislation takes effect July 1.
“We are grateful for Rep. Donalds’ leadership on this issue and his willingness to work with all of the different stakeholders involved to get this important legislation across the finish line,” Gill said.
The inconsistency in the impact fee system has long been problematic and burdensome for multifamily housing developers with projects across multiple jurisdictions. Florida law provides local governments with the authority to assess and collect impact fees as a means to fund local infrastructure that is needed to accommodate new population growth and expand local services.
The fees and the process by which they are assessed has varied greatly across the state. For example, some local governments have collected impact fees during the early stages of the development process, while other jurisdictions wait until building permits are issued to collect such fees. The administrative costs associated with tracking the different impact fee collection processes across the state increased costs for apartment developers, thereby increasing the cost of rental housing across the state.
In addition to creating consistency regarding the impact fee process, HB 207 requires the funds to be used exclusively for capital investments such as a new fire station or school.
That ensures fairness to the future residents of a rental community, said Matt Gourlay, development manager at LeCesse Development Corp.
“This bill provides the appropriate structure for resources to be collected and allocated in both an equitable and economical fashion,” Gourlay said. “We want to be certain that the impact fees are being used to directly benefit the residents who are ultimately absorbing these costs through their monthly rent.”
The Florida Apartment Association represents and advocates for the interests of the Florida multifamily rental housing industry. Since 1971, FAA has worked to ensure high property management standards and resident satisfaction and safety in Florida. FAA represents more than three-quarters (80%) of apartment homes in Florida — more than 700,000 units — and nearly three-quarters (74%) of all apartment communities in Florida.
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