Winter Park levies affordable housing tax on Rendezvous Center | SkyHiNews.com
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Winter Park levies affordable housing tax on Rendezvous Center

The new Rendezvous Center will be the home of the Visitor's Center, the Rendezvous Sales Office and some housing.
Courtesy Koelbel

The Winter Park Town Council approved an affordable housing tax on the new Winter Park Fraser Chamber of Commerce headquarters and Rendezvous Center project.

The project, which was approved in May 2018, included the demolition of the old Winter Park Visitors’ Center, which acted as the base for the chamber, and building a space to house the chamber, the Rendezvous sales office and housing units.

However, the original agreement didn’t specify what the affordable housing assessment would be, so the town council rectified that on Tuesday.

Per the new agreement, Rendezvous’s project will have a .5% real estate assessment tax for all of its residential units after the initial builder sale.

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“This half a percent of RETA is what we’ve been doing with the newest developments and moving forward because it provides a sustainable revenue into the future,” said Mayor Jimmy Lahrman. “Rendezvous has been a tremendous partner and stakeholder in the community so this project advancing is a tremendous asset to our community.”

In order to fund its affordable housing projects, Winter Park can charge new developments a one-time $3 per square foot development fee or a perpetual .5% RETA on the sale of residential units.

According to Winter Park Town Manager Keith Riesberg, the town estimated a collection of roughly $34,700 for the Rendezvous Center project if they charged by the square foot. 

With the RETA, the town is hoping to have a stable source of money for the fund and Reisberg estimates Winter Park could collect around $50,000 on the first sale of the residential units.

In other business:

  • The council recognized its two retiring members, Chuck Banks and Jim Myers, for the time they’ve served their community. Banks was on the council for eight years and Myers was on the council for 34 years. The town hopes to celebrate the two men at an in-person event later this year, when it is safe to gather in large groups again.
  • Council members approved a change to the contract with the Fraser Winter Park Chamber of Commerce to allocate $100,000 from the chamber’s marketing and special events budget to the Small Business Emergency Grant Fund.
  • Also to support the town’s involvement in the Small Business Emergency Grant Fund, the council approved a memorandum of agreement with the Grand Foundation, which allows the foundation to give out the money Winter Park donated.
  • In a further effort to help local businesses, the town is offering a 30-day extension for the payment of March sales tax collections, which were originally due April 20. Businesses in Winter Park can request an extension on the payment until May 20. Sales tax return filings are still due April 20.

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