Developers run the state of Florida. There is a massive influx of people from the north who are coming to Florida, and the current residents are the ones paying the bill. A case in point:
Sumter County Florida contains a large community called “The Villages.” The entire community is being built by a family owned company. They are planning to build 60,000 homes in the next 20 years. The cost for the infrastructure needed for this community is being left to the taxpayers of the county.
To cover these expenses, Sumter county passed a 25% increase in property taxes in 2019. The Villages managed this by getting several of their employees elected to the county commission. The developer claims that they are paying their share by building parks and golf courses- “amenities.” What they fail to say is that the amenities are only permitted to the people who live in the Villages and pay amenities fees. The fire stations, deputies, road maintenance, and other required public infrastructure is left to the tax payer.
If a developer builds a house in The Villages, or any other retirement community in Sumter County, the impact fee to help pay for roads is $972. If a developer builds the exact same house outside The Villages, the impact fee nearly triples to $2,666. That deal is thanks to the three commissioners that were on the board until the last election.
Voters were incensed, and replaced three of them in the 2020 election. The new commissioners passed a bill to roll back the tax, and make impact fees the same throughout the county.
That was defeated when the state of Florida passed a law limiting impact fees. The Representative who sponsored the impact fee limit? He is an employee of The Villages with a $350K a year salary. The number one contributor to his election campaign? His employer, the Holding Company of the Villages, Inc.
Hage’s employment with The Villages was revealed on a Form 6 Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests filed by him last year. The form shows that during 2019, he was paid $141,003 from the Holding Company of The Villages. He also was paid $113,554 from T&D Distribution Inc., $14,410 from T&D Concrete Inc., and $11,000 from T&D Supplies Inc. T&D is the construction company that does all of the construction work in the Villages. Hage’s state representative salary – one he clearly isn’t earning – was $29,697.
When what is bought and sold is decided by the legislator, the first thing that is bought and sold are the legislators.