Collier commissioner seeks fee change to spur growth

File: new home building construction. WINK News

IMMOKALEE, Fla. A Collier County commissioner has a plan to spread out the cost of new home buying.

Commissioner Bill McDaniel is spearheading a pilot program that would allow impact fees, which the county charges to offset the costs of providing public services to a new home development, to be spread over a decades-long period.

The program could be rolled out county-wide if it goes well in an initial test area in a section of Immokalee.

“We’re going to be able to gauge this program’s success for development in the area,” McDaniel said. “Will it be successful? Time will tell.”

The move could make it easier on home buyers in the county, many of whom are shocked by some of the highest impact fees in the state, realtor Debbie Seifert said. The fee on a $200,000 home is around $25,000.

“People don’t anticipate that expense on the front end,” Seifert said.

Spreading out impact fees could also ease the burden on the county once the pace of new home building slows, McDaniel said, suggesting that it could forestall the need to raise property taxes.

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