Nickels and Dimes

By: Alana Adams
By: Alana Adams

When it rains, it really pours and floods many areas of Bay County. Some commissioners believe a storm water utility fee is one answer to this problem, and it's something they will all discuss at next week's meeting.

The fees would be a flat rate until a detailed study outlining specific rates is completed depending on each area's impact to cause flooding.

County Commissioner Jerry Girvin says the money is necessary because the problem is real.

"So the proposition behind this is to eliminate that flooding, make a safer travel and also secure property."

And with all the continued development and growth in the area, the county says it's time to catch up with the cities and propose an impact fee for new development.

"An impact fee, as the word implies, is the fee a developer or builder pays for the impact his project is going to have on the county."

The money would go towards services used by those who would live in the development such as fire, water, and even parks.

Commissioner Mike Thomas says the high rise condominiums will cause a great impact on the area, and they need to let the developers know now before they're done.

"Whether you like them or don't like them, they're here. We've got to pay the infrastructure for them. In the past residents have been footing the bill to get things ready and I think this way it's a way to replace it."

But the tax most likely to spur some debate is a proposed additional one-cent gas tax.

"People don't like having their houses taxed very much. This way the tourists and everybody pays equally."

Commissioners say the tax would specifically go towards the maintenance of existing roads, but, all the talk of being nickel and dimed to death, commissioners do expect some feedback at next week's meeting.

All of the tax or impact fees must be approved by a "super vote," either a unanimous or 4 to 1 vote for any of them to pass.


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