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The BOCC will be the first to tell you they have approved 50,000 homes. That’s the equivalent of about 70,000 students. A school holds about 2,000 students. To meet that need 35 schools are needed – and everyone of them would be at 100% capacity. A school costs about 50M$. That equals 1.75B$. Marion County’s share of that bill is 32% or 560m$. We do not have a penny in the bank. Since 2011 we have not had the ability to charge developers for the needs they generate locally. If we do not vote in concurrency the trend will continue.

  1. This is what other counties charge for school impact fees – please keep in mind we collect zero.



  2. We have 347M$ in unfunded needs for our roads. Our long range 2045 plan is unfunded to the tune of 924M$.
  3. To make matters worse the Commission lowered transportation impacts fees for commercial construction.
  4. Our police and fire systems lack 10 stations each. Each station costs about 5M$. That’s 100M$ in unfunded fire and police needs that developers caused but not a penny was collected to meet the need.
  5. I attended the Calibrex hearings. One of the more interesting points made was made by OTOW’s lawyer – Mr. Reggie Boujoulais (forgive the spelling). He stated – there is no way for Marion County to meet the needs that are being created by developers based on current impact fees. The only way Marion county will be able to meet these needs is through increased taxes. You can listen to the hearing yourself and hear this stark and totally accurate assessment. If you do not believe me that taxpayers are subsidizing developers maybe, you will believe a prominent lawyer in the know.
  6. If one were to look at what is going on around us – compare what we do to what other counties do around us – one will quickly determine we have the lowest impact rates in the state. They are the lowest because we do not consider the needs that developers create when an approval is made. We lowered our fees to attract developers and we got exactly what we bargained for – tumorous growth without the financial capability to manage it.7. By comparison this is what other counties collect in impact fees.

Please notice, by comparison, some counties collected 718M$ more in impact fees than we did.

It is important to keep in mind the above is only based on the 50,000 homes approved. It does not take into account what’s happened on the commercial or industrial side of things. And also keep in mind the grants given out to the warehouse operators we woo to come here – estimate 75M$+. My question is – if everyone wants to come here why do we need to bribe them to come?

Let’s stop here and understand the real difference not collecting impact fees is. With an added 718m$ (not to mention what we could have and should have gotten from the commercial and industrial side) we would have $0 in road unfunded needs; we would have the money to build all the new schools needed now and have money left over to improve the other 23 impact areas that have not been addressed for a decade! Think about that for a moment please. Instead, we have bad roads, overcrowded schools and a decaying infrastructure that’s literally killing people and a tax bill coming that will cause people to lose their homes!

Summary: (What taxpayers are on the hook for conservatively speaking)

  1. Schools – 560M
  2. Roads – 1.3B
  3. Fire & Police – 100M
  4. Other Needs – 200M?

Total                      2.1B$+

I gave a copy of this information to each of our commissioners in the Calibrex meeting last month – none of them can say they do not know all this. I spoke at length all over this county for 4 months and posted the recordings online for all to see and hear. I am always surprised that the Commissioners go to these meetings and act like they don’t have a clue. I believe this is called willful ignorance.

I have included links to all the information I have spoken about so that those who may wish to think of all this as me spreading disinformation will understand I am not making this stuff up – it’s been written about and investigated by others who are far more aware of what’s going on than me.

When I read that the CEP wants more of the same, I realize there is a disconnect between what the community wants and what the business incubator wants. In my 4 months of campaigning I never heard – we need to build more and faster. What I heard was – give us something to do – old and young alike – we have no entertainment, we have no affordable housing, we need more assisted living and better healthcare. We need higher paying jobs and we need to protect our farms and water and livelihoods. Stop the building and let’s get our house in order so we can safely accommodate more.

What I believe should be done:

  1. Enact concurrency
  2. Enact Proper impact fees
  3. Consider a Building Moratorium until our infrastructure is safely able to take on more.
  4. Review the Comprehensive plan and update it to make it coherent, inclusive and stronger.
  5. Make Marion County a Charter County.

The painful truth in all this is – Our leaders are unwilling or unable to do what is needed in time to avoid a massive financial crisis and taxpayers are looking down the barrel of a slew of tax increases no one wants, and most can’t afford.

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Committee to Elect Brian Christian Donnelly
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