Dec
16

Beaufort County Considers Increasing Impact Fees

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cash in airThe impact fees Beaufort County charges on new development could be changing next year as the economy rebounds and building resumes, county officials said Monday.

The fees are collected on new commercial and residential development to help pay for the roads, fire service, libraries and parks the new shoppers and residents add to their area of the county.

But the fees have not been adjusted in nearly 10 years — before the county’s building boom was crushed by the economic recession and its population grew by more than 40,000, county administrator Gary Kubic said.

“It’s cause and effect,” County Councilman Jerry Stewart said Monday. “It’s very important to understand what it is we’re trying to accomplish in the county, and is this an impediment or does it accomplish what we want it to? I think we’re sort of out of sync on those things.”

In 1999, the county was behind on the road, park, fire protection and sometimes the school infrastructure it needed to keep up with blooming development along US 278, SC 170 and throughout northern Beaufort County, county officials said. To compensate, the county asked developers to help cover the costs and have been setting aside the money in funds dedicated to particular geographic areas and needs ever since.

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