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staff this week presented details of the third phase, which includes some of the most hotly contested provisions, such as fiscal neutrality. Fiscal neutrality is the principle that develop- ment should pay its own way — that any new project should generate enough revenue in the form of impact fees and tax revenue to cover any new burden on county infrastructure. Last year, the county turned to the hard-right Tennessee consulting firm Laffer Associates to help it reevaluate how it measures fiscal neutrality. The resulting report called for the total elimination of the concept, and it also suggested the county remove all zoning rules and its urban service boundary, generating a mountain of criticism in the process. According to a May 21 county staff report presented as part of this week's commission discussion, "staff recommends changes to the implementation of the overarching concept of fiscal neutrality for Sarasota 2050 develop- ments and not the concept itself." The county's long-range planning man- ager, Allen Parsons, said that, under staff's recommendations, a "demonstration of fis- cal neutrality" would still be required for a project to go forward. But the staff plan elim- inates the requirement that a developer prove a project's fiscal neutrality "for each phase" of a new neighborhood. However, Parsons explained, if a project's fiscal burdens later "diverge" from predictions, then the board could take action. Citing the Laffer report, staff wrote that there are "compelling indications" that 2050 devel- opment "will be fiscally neutral." Indeed, "to An aerial map shows the location of the planned Lakewood Ranch South development. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader May 23, 2014 Page 28

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