August 28, 2007
Leesburg-- Lee County Commissioners passed a new ordinance Tuesday night that ends impact fees for commercial development. Residential developers must still pay fees that will go toward parks and libraries, but the total fees will be drastically reduced. A homebuilder will now pay $770 instead of $2235.
Commissioner Jo Ealum says the people of Lee County are going to end up paying one way or the other. "The result of that is going to be that current citizens of Lee County are going to see a tax increase. I see no benefit in reducing the impact fees. In no way is the growth of Lee County being hurt by impact fees," she said.
Ealum claims the impact fee changes will cost the county $700,000 over the next year. She was the only commissioner who voted against the changes. The other commissioners say the new rules should help attract more business and industry to Lee County.