Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 2:30pm

Lake’s School Impact Fees Grossly High Compared to Marion and Sumter

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When Commissioner Leslie Campione said that in the big picture Lake County’s school impact fees were off the charts high and had become a real obstacle in the county’s economic development, she had done her homework.  Citizens for Better Government, L.L.C. took the school impact fee cost for the non-metro neighboring counties of Marion and Sumter and compared them to Lake County’s current school impact fee of $9,324.  School impact fee numbers from the other counties speak for themselves – Lake County is not competitive with its sister counties.

The school impact fee in Marion County is $3,967, and the school impact fee in Sumter County is $0 – yes, zero.  Sumter County does not have a school impact fee.  Right now, a custom home buyer in Marion County will save $5,357 in school impact fee costs while the same custom home buyer in Sumter County will save $9,324.  It’s no wonder why Lake County saw a reduction in construction permits in 2010 while most other counties in the state saw an increase.  We can’t compete; heck, we aren’t even in the game!

Lake County’s impact fee history tells a story of government greed and why most homes in the county will not appraise out correctly.  Many of the homes, which are underwater financially or foreclosed, were built within the last ten years.  Impact fees add no real value to a house, and as a result, many of the houses were overpriced.

Below is the history and amount per house for school impact fees for Lake County since 2001:

  • 2001 – $1,232
  • 2003 – $3,489
  • 2004 – $7,055
  • 2007 until today – $9,324

Believe it or not, Commissioners Stewart and Renick wanted school impact fees raised to over $17,000 in 2007, but they came up one vote short.  Since 2001, ten short years, Lake County’s school impact fees have gone up $8,092 per house or 656.8%.  The amount of this increase is simply nauseating and is a microcosm of everything that is wrong with government today.

Here is where the rubber meets the road:  Home values in Lake County have dropped to pre-2000 levels for many people, and school impact fees are choking the life out of this economy.  According the Orlando MSA, in 2001 the median sale price for a home was $113,509, and in January 2011, the median sale price for that same home was only $123,476.  The difference in the median sale price over the last 10 years is only 8.8%, or $9,967.  Home prices have gone up 8.8% and impact fees have gone up 656.8% – no wonder we’re in this economic mess!

The numbers speak for themselves.  No one, not even the most ardent no-growth activist, can spin these numbers to make them look better.  It’s time to make this right and immediately lower impact fees to 2001 levels.  Compared to Marion and Sumter Counties, Lake County looks like a terrible place to live and work.  That must change.

Contact your Lake County Commissioners and School Board Members and ask them to make school impact fees reasonable by going back to 2001 levels.  For your convenience, their names and email addresses are listed below.

The Right Side of the Lake is a publication of Citizens for Better Government, L.L.C., and if you would like to comment on today’s column please go to our website or  This newsletter is free to all who would like to subscribe, and we encourage you to send it out to everyone on your mailing list.  If you have information or a topic you would like us to cover please email us directly at

Lake County Board of County Commissioners

Lake County School Board Members

6 Responses to “Lake’s School Impact Fees Grossly High Compared to Marion and Sumter”

  1. To ‘paying he bills”

    Go back to sleep. Besides Cowin, Parks and Campione are the only ones who HAVE stood up to Conner PERIOD.Its funny to watch Conner get more and more revved up when he tries to put down Parks and Campione. text book lesson in how to deal with a loud mouth bully.

  2. Name says:

    Melbourne, Florida seems to be a highly successful community with regard to attracting big paying corporations, like Harris.

    I suggest you look into the number of housing permits granted in that county and also at the impact fees.

    Then scratch your head and wonder about your ridiculous theory that we need to build more homes to have a successful business community.

  3. Impact fees have very little to no impact on the housing decline in Lake County . Have you noticed there has been a housing decline through out the United States. It cannot be blamed on Lake County former commissioners or Lake County School Board members. Lake County school population is still growing where some countiy school populations are declining . Lake has been behind on the construction of schools for years. The impact fees have helped , but if impact fees are reduced, property taxes will go up to fill the void.(student needs don’t go away with the reduction of impact fees,, they will increase). There is presently a glut of empty houses in Lake county and thousand of approved building lots with impact fees already paid in advance.. Impact fees are not holding back building in Lake, it is the national economy. The thousands of empty foreclosed homes in Lake shows there is not a need for new home construction. There is a need for more manufacturing with decent wages. Impact fees and permit cost may need to be looked at and reduced for new businesses , but not school impact fees. The increases in school population each year is causing overcrowding in most Lake County schools now. Without impact fees, the need will only increase and the only way to meet the construction needs will be to raise taxes on everyone.

  4. this has nothing to do with impact fees but it is why people don’t like or trust politicians. you would think that elected officials in tallahassee would like to be part of the solution to how we can balance our budget but check out representative Haripopalous’s long consulting payroll list including carey baker. he is getting a fat 90k job for ‘consulting” which will impact his huge state retirement which of course we tax payers will be footing the bill for many years to come. this is an example of i need a job so take care of me. i would think people should be outraged by this but they aren’t because this is business as usual.

  5. What I thank Jimmy Conner for is the 562 million in bond debt he, State Non-Rep Larry Metz, horseface, (I can’t remember her name, thank God and Greyhound she’s gone) and all the other social elites on the school board got us in debt while Jimmy Conner was screaming at Anna Cowin for four year!

    Watch out, if this sucker starts screaming at somebody, he’s just trying to get attention away from what he’s really doing. One little statement to Sean Parks about his inexperience and parks is like a Florida gopher, head back in shell, Campoine is no better, I didn;t expect her to have b**ls but I did think she would stand up for what’s right.

  6. Name says:

    you can thank Jimmy conner when he was on the school board for these outrageous increases.
    now that campione and parks are on on the commission, jimmy is back tracking and says his
    increases were too high.

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