Fees Fail in Temple Terrace

Advocacy News ,

A pair of new fees that would have cost apartment owners $67 per unit the first year failed to pass the Temple Terrace City Council after a pair of 3-2 votes Tuesday night in which the mayor voted twice against the fees to break a tie.

The vote hinged on a swing to "no" by councilman Robert Boss, who had previously supported the fees. He maintained that they were still the right thing to do but that he would relent in the face of overwhelming resident and property owner dissatisfaction with them.

Mayor Frank Chillura broke a 2-2 tie on each fee casting his vote against. Councilman Grant Rimbey, who had previously indicated support for the fees, was absent from the meeting, setting up Chillura's first pair of votes in four years as mayor under a system where the mayor votes only to break a tie.

The votes were held after a pair of public hearings on the fees during which speakers -- most clutching the required mailed notices they received from the town of fewer than 30,000 residents -- castigated the city for even going down the road of producing what are known as non-ad valorem fees instead of funding services through property tax collections tied to a millage rate as had been the long tradition.

BAAA member and former FAA President Mark Ogier, a principal in ContraVest Development Partners, which had recently opened a new community called The Addison at Tampa Oaks, spoke against the fees saying they would lower the value of apartment properties and thus the ad valorem collections on them offsetting any benefit a fee might bring. Other commercial property owners in town agreed with him.