Blaise Ingoglia, who is the present House Rep. for Hernando County, District 35, has just recently purchased 40 acres of property zoned for use as parks & recreation lands, set aside for this very purpose, but that were sold to Ingoglia by the 5 County commissioners, all Republicans, who, in toto, laid them at his feet and accepted a, supposedly, unsolicited offer from Ingoglia, who is, after all, Hernando County’s District 35, representative in the State Legislature for the past 6 years (3 terms). Ingoglia was chairman of the Hernando County Republican Executive Committee, a position now held by Commission Chairman Jeff Holcomb and previously held by Commissioner John Allocco. Chairman Holcomb, a District 4 Commissioner since 2014 and a real estate agent for Century 21, Alliance Realty, actually sells Ingoglia’s Hartland Homes and advertises them widely on his company’s website.

In an article published in the Hernando Times section of the Tampa Bay Times, writer Barbara Behrendt wrote on Friday, November 8, 2019 that Commissioner Steve Champion stated that he: “didn’t realize that Hartland Homes was Blaise Ingoglia’s company” making this statement with a “straight face” and a licensed Realtor, who is also (as noted above) a Commissioner, sitting on the same commission, right next to him? BTW, Ingoglia was also the guy who “helped” get rid of the “impact fees” that anyone (think builders here) building a home must pay because of the “impact” building the home has on the county. The impact fee in Hernando County, in 2019, is $4,714 per lot and passes from the builder to the home-buyer. Ingoglia paid 405,000 for six Spring Hill park sites sold to him on Tuesday, November 5. 2019, and they include: 8 acres on Sheffield Road; 5.4 acres on Oleta Street; 8 acres on Norvell Road; 5.5 acres on Laredo Avenue; 6.3 acres on Pinehurst Drive; and 5.7 acres on Holiday Drive.     Now, it isn’t like these sites are one property: they are 6 separate sites, supposedly set aside for parks and recreation for the public. This means Ingoglia bought this land for approximately $10,000 an acre, property that is zoned, now, for 90 homes. If Ingoglia sells these 90 homes for an average of $200,000, he will gross $18,000,000 simoleons.

Waiving any impact fees doesn’t eliminate the cost of the infrastructure that these fees are paying for. Either new development or existing residents must pay the cost of needed infrastructure improvements. If new development, which puts additional demand on county facilities, doesn’t pay its fair share of this infrastructure cost through impact fees, then existing residents will have to pay those costs through higher fees or taxes and if the Hernando County Commissioners wave impact fees it hurts the taxpayers they are supposed to be serving, not to mention Blaise Ingoglia’s part in such an occurrence: he “wins” either way by getting the land for practically “nothing” and then paying no impact fees or if the impact fees are not waved, he (as all builders do) simply jacks the price of the new homes upwards.

 The costs of building anything for any “developer” (man with money) lies most heavily on the cost of the land which for Ingoglia was a “steal” as on the same day as Ingoglia was sold this property, 3 other county-owned parcels were sold or were about to be sold: one in Ridge Manor Estates and one in Weeki Wachee Acres and a 5.7 acre property on Cortez Boulevard at Blackbird Street that sold for $800,000 to Mahmood Akel, a local physician, by another unanimous commission vote and one on Cortez Boulevard, to which Hernando county’s real estate broker, Robert Buckner, recommended “an initial asking price of no less than $1 million” in a memo to the county commissioners less than 60 days ago. Buckner added this quote: “My goal, as the county’s real estate broker, is to achieve the highest market price possible,” he said but then added: “but understand a timely sale is also a motivating factor.” I would think he should have added: and the BUYER is also a “MOTIVATING FACTOR” as to the price.

BTW, the Hernando County Commission also approved a 2019-2020 spending plan that comes with a 14 percent increase in the general fund property tax rate and a 25% rise on Hernando County’s water bills; the largest hike in three decades.

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