Pasco County leaders OK impact fees for new schools

By Leah Masuda, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2017, 3:21 PM EDT

Pasco County leaders approved Tuesday an increase to the impact fee for newly constructed homes.

  • Commissioners voted 5-0 for the new fee
  • Current fee sits at $4,800, will double by 2020
  • Funding will go toward building new schools

The current fee sits at $4,800. It will nearly double by the year 2020. The funding will go to the Pasco County School District to build new schools.

Tuesday's commission meeting went off without a hitch. Only one person spoke for the higher impact fee.

"I have a grandchild that will be attending schools. I want them to be the best schools possible, that we have already in Pasco and will continue to have," said New Port Richey resident Hugh Townsend.

Commissioners voted for the new fee in a 5-0 vote.

The impact fee for newly constructed homes will be a flat rate:

  • January 1, 2018 - $7,128
  • January 1, 2019 - $7,728
  • January 1, 2020 and beyond - $8,328

"That will go a long way to getting us to where we can now get the Cypress Creek Middle School fast tracked," said Superintendent Kurt Browning. "My hope is we can get that done in about three years."

The fee will allow for enough funding to build four new schools along the State Road 54/56 corridor over the next 10 years to help alleviate overcrowding.

This year students were moved to other schools to help equalize populations. Two new schools were also built.

"We want to make sure that we have safe schools, that our schools are not overcrowded, and that they are getting -- as we like to say -- a world class education," said Browning. "So this goes a long way, this goes a long way getting us to where we need to be."

The district says it needs five schools. It says it will look at other funding sources like its Penny for Pasco tax dollars for that.