The monthly Network of Entrepreneurs and Business Advocates held their monthly luncheon meeting Tuesday and heard two experts discuss the pros and cons of a move towards a mobility fee.
A mobility fee, which is under consideration in Leon County, replaces impact and concurrency fees as a source for funding transportation projects. The fee would be paid by developers based on the parameters of specific projects.
Debbie Dantin, a Professional Engineer based in Tallahassee with experience in transportation concurrency and traffic impact studies, told NEBA members that a mobility fee would allow developers to know up front what fees are required for projects.
This is in contrast to the impact and concurrency process where fees were often determined through negotiations based on various factors.
Dantin voiced concern about the impact of higher mobility fees on small businesses.
Dantin was also critical of the recent City of Tallahassee reorganization which did away with the public works department and placed responsibilities with different utility departments. Noting that most other cities have public work departments, Dantin said the reorganization has resulted in communication problems in the process that addresses transportation issues.
Dantin said that a popular critique from developers about the impact and concurrency process was that fees where seldom allocated to specific projects and would sometimes go unspent while transportation needs went unaddressed.
She argued that the mobility fee structure should include a process to allocate funds to specific projects identified to address transportation problems.
Jonathan B. Paul, a transportation planning expert with more than 18 years of experience working in the government, university, and private sectors, explained that mobility fees could be used for transportation options that go beyond road construction.
As examples, he spoke of mobility fees subsidizing Uber and Lyft services in Altamonte Springs, Florida and autonomous transit vehicles, which are being considered in Gainesville.
Mr. Paul is currently working on developing a proposed mobility fee plan for Leon County.
Mr. Paul also addressed the concerns about a mobility fee impact on small businesses by stating that an efficient transportation system would benefit all businesses.
When asked about the number one traffic issue in Leon County, Paul said that more could be done with a number of intersections around town.
Ms. Dantin agreed, and said that minor improvements at intersections can have an immediate impact on traffic flow. But Dantin said it takes too long to get the projects through the approval process.
I wonder how many of our citizens that seem to care about the corruption in our local government are willing to commit to making a donation to our candidates and campaign for people that would put themselves out there in public for elections. If regular people would make Donations and help with campaigning yes we could take our government back but not until people get involved with the campaigns and not just set back waiting for Someone else to do the heavy lifting. Until that happens, the Lobbyiest and Special interest will continue to have control because they will raise the money needed to Win the Elections. The main reason I was able to win my first election, I borrowed money from my relatives and sold some property I owned and spent that money on my campaign. ( $30,000) Dollars of my own money I spent because , even though a large number of people said they supported me but they would not donate money until the last few days before the election when we knew we Where going to Win! We Didn’t need the donation them , candidates need the donations at the start of a campaign when no-one knows who can win! So we will see if things change this next election, ii hope it changes, time will tell. John Paul
Thomas , are you from Tallahassee ? I knew a former FSU police captain by the name of Steve Hooker any relationship?
City bureacrats are absolutely afraid of acquiring any right of way for road widening or turn lanes or anything that requires additional land. In fact they make 2 lane roads out of 4 lane roads in the name of “”progress”” ! (Gaines St. anyone ?) The only improvements (?) they engage in are bike trails, green ways, parks , etc., that less than 10% of the taxpayers use , so to heck with traffic needs which is stupid, dumb and irresponsible. ( and Lord we pay enough in road tax, real estate tax , sales tax, etc . to cover same 10 times over ).
Well said. The same is true with our County Comm. They only care about their pet projects.
Their goal is to slow traffic down and make you want to take the bus, walk or bicycle to work.
They will tell you that too! the city and county has a 17 square mile area the core of the city that they will not upgrade (widen ) the roads and will do away with a lane or two to put in bicycle lanes Etc, I order to force infill in the central area and the Commisdioners think they will make people use the busses and bicycles Etc. the area is from Tharpe street south to south to orange Ave, west tfrom high road to capital circle east I think ? But this community is a strange place sometimes they want on one hand to have jobs for our children when they grow up and on the other hand will discourage new businesses or development…
Do these people stay awake nights thinking up ways to get more money out of the tax payers? How about they learn to use the tax money we pay better!
On the surface it seems sensible that developers need to pay some version of “fees” to a city for adding more homes and/or commercial structures to that city. More structures means more roads, sewer or septic facilities, electrical and phone lines all need to be built to service the additional neighborhoods or commercial construction. It makes sense that the developer should at least partially pay for that.
However, the troubling parts here are “developers” and “City of Tallahassee”. There is a long list of suspect or downright corrupt dealings between the two here, in one degree or another. With the present COT government, I have strong suspicions that this new tax proposal (or any) would be similarly exploited by our trusty city officials.
I just paid my property tax bill yesterday. Over $5500.
I understand that revenue from gas taxes is and will continue to decrease but I’m not interested in forking over another penny.
Here’s how to obtain City funding without raising taxes so as not to further hurt small businesses and create further tax burden for ourselves; assuming that’s the goal:
Sufficient funds can be obtained by cutting and eliminating outrageous salaries from about 200 City employees.
Simply start with the family and extended family units like Fernandez, Miller, Barber, etc. and then concurrently drop everyone who’s making over $100,000 per year back down to a mere $85,000 and there you have this quickly and painlessly funded.
Call this the City’s Financial Mobility Plan.
Look at the excessive financial waste in Star Metro and Fleet and there are additional savings. And as we are discussing funding: what is John Paul being paid to develop this plan? Also – what became of the 1 cent sales tax to raise millions for public infrastructure improvements……
Gosh, adding right turn lanes around town at congested intersections would be huge. Add right turn lanes at Tennessee and Magnolia, or at Tennessee and Gadsden, and at Monroe. How about St. Augustine and Blair Stone Rd. or at Gaines and Varsity, or Blair Stone at Apalachee.
Come on do you really thing our elected officials are that smart. They have set every red light in town so you have to stop for 5 or 6 minutes with no traffic in the other direction. I guess when you are collecting taxes on the gas sold you have a vested interest in slowing down the traffic as much as possible.
Sounds like an exciting new tax which we can totally trust our dirty “usual suspects” to properly administer and invest in the good of our community [sarcasm over].
Actually if you think the mobility tax is a tax “developers/business” pay then you need to review the general principals on how life works.
General Principals of life 101:
Developers/business pass this tax and other government fees on to their customers which means…drum roll… you and me pay the mobility tax.
Getting the sheeple to think developers/business pay this tax (so why should us sheeple protest?) is a lefty liberal old school trick to make us think we can have a golden Utopian society if we just tax “others”…duhhh sheeple we are really taxing ourselves.