Commission to decide future funding of Pasco County school construction at next meeting

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Pasco County Board of County Commissioners will make a decision at their next meeting in August that could affect school construction in the county for the next ten years.

The commission was to vote on whether to increase the impact fee applied to every new home built by developers on Tuesday, but will vote on a modified plan on August 15.

Commissioners made a verbal commitment to back the proposal at the next meeting.

It’s a one-time fee when each home is built. 

The revenue will focus on a ten-year growth plan, allowing four new schools to be built along the Highway 54/56 corridor between Trinity and Wesley Chapel, according to district officials.

The proposed increase would nearly double the $4,800 impact fee for homebuilders over the course of three years.

School district officials say the proposal is to set a flat rate with no tiers:

  • January 1, 2018 – $7,128 school impact fee (flat rate, no tiers)
  • January 1, 2019 – 7,728 school impact fee (flat rate, no tiers)
  • January 1, 2020 and beyond – $8,328 school impact fee (flat rate, no tiers)

The hope is to keep up with fast moving growth and to alleviate overcrowding in schools.

Wiregrass Ranch High School was 150 percent over capacity last year, according to the district. The full student body wasn’t able to attend school all at once, due to capacity issues. Officials say a new middle-high school will help alleviate overcrowding next school year.

The district released details stating, “For every 100 new homes built in Pasco County, the Pasco County School District needs to make room for an additional 18 elementary school students, 10 middle school students, and 12 high school students.”

Revenue from the proposed impact fee increase is still expected to fall short.

The district is in need of five new schools but officials say revenue from the impact fee will be enough to covers the expense of four schools.

The commission meeting on the impact fee increase will be held at 1:30 p.m. at the Historic County Courthouse in Dade City.

A large amount of growth is moving north from Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties into Pasco County.

The Hillsborough County school impact fee depends on the square footage of the home, according to district officials. They say the average impact fee for a typical sized new home is roughly $4,000.

It’s a one-time fee that can only be used for new construction of schools.

Pinellas County school officials say there is no impact fee for developers who build new homes in the county.


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