What are the fees associated with the Beach Mouse?
Prior to the development of the Perdido Key Habitat Conservation Plan in 2014, Escambia County, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and US Fish and Wildlife Service developed the Perdido Key Beach Mouse Conservation Strategy.
The Conservation Strategy’s goal was to establish a plan to maintain a viable population of PKBM in native habitat on Perdido Key through maintaining and improving beach mouse populations and critical habitat.
In support of this strategy, the Perdido Key Beach Conservation Fund was established. Mitigation fees are deposited into the fund, and support land acquisition, habitat management, beach mice monitoring and education efforts across the Key.
Mitigation fees are collected through two means:
- Impact fees: one-time fee assessed on developments built after 2015 and calculated at $100,000 per acre of PKBM habitat impacted. Impact fees are due at time of beach mouse permit issuance.
- Reoccurring Annual Fee: annual fee on developments built after 2015. Calculated at $201 per residential unit or commercial parking space. Annual fees are assessed through the County’s MSBU process and collected as part of the owner’s property tax.
Why does the Beach Mouse fee classify as an MSBU?
The County’s ITP provides protection for private landowners and developers in case of impacts or "take" of beach mice or other protected species during site preparation, construction, and habitation. The County is ultimately responsible to USFWS for the conservation and protection of the Perdido Key Beach Mouse and other protected species, through management of the HCP and permitting process. Private landowners and developers benefit from this blanket coverage.
What authorizes the County to issue a MSBU?
Florida State Statue 125.01 (1) (q) authorizes “legislative and governing body of a county” to “establish, and subsequently merge or abolish those created hereunder, municipal service taxing or benefit units”
Read the full statute here.