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This profile was last updated on 10/24/13  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Charlie Wilson Jr.

Wrong Charlie Wilson Jr.?


Impact Fee Consultants

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

84 Total References
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Charlie Wilson, a Vero Beach ..., 24 Oct 2013 [cached]
Charlie Wilson, a Vero Beach businessman and sometime candidate for local office, last week sent the Indian River County Commission a spread sheet he says shows the county cannot legitimately continue to collect some impact fees.
The county, needless to say, disagrees.
But Wilson, president of Impact Fee Consultants, said he plans to help builders and businesses avoid paying future impact fees, and warns the county will be subject to a class-action lawsuit if it forces his clients to pay.
"Indian River County may have overcharged businesses and homeowners up to 30% for impact fees collecteed from 2005 to 2013," Wilson said. "The overcharges totaling up to $30 million are a result of inflated population estimates and overestimating costs of construction and land acquisition.
"A study by Impact Fee Consultants reveals that Indian River County may not be allowed to continue to collect impact fees from new construction for law enforcement, public buildings, parks, libraries and schools due to surplus capacity built up since 2005.
"The overcharges were caused by collecting too much and accelerating spending to prevent refunds," Wilson said.
State law on impact fees is murky. Courts have found that counties can collect fees from developers and builders to pay for new infrastructure necessitated by their projects, but they must be able to show the new development, whether it is a big box store or a 100-home subdivision, will require a specific amount of additional road capacity, classroom space, park acreage and other infrastructure and then charge reasonable fees to meet the added need.
Wilson contends the county set rates and charged fees during the building boom that turned out to be unneeded and then rushed to spend the money to avoid refunding it, as required by law when fees are not spent within a certain time period.
He says the county has purchased more parkland and built more public buildings and other infrastructure than it needs and is not entitled to collect those type of impact fees going forward.
"The worst is Parks and Recreation," Wilson said.
"Mr. Wilson is acting as an expert, which he is not. He is incorrect in many of his statements, as usual."
Brown is known as a capable financial analyst and administrator and his categorical contradiction of Wilson's assertions might seem definitive except for the fact that Wilson prevailed over the county in an earlier impact fee dispute.
In 2011, Wilson appeared before the commission a number of times to contend the county owed $1.2 million in impact fee refunds to island residents because the money had not been spent for its intended purposes of road construction during the time allotted by law.
At first, commissioners and county staff basically laughed Wilson off and said absolutely no refunds were due.
After a prolonged dispute, in which Wilson continued to press his point despite being maligned as a gadfly and troublemaker, the commission eventually saw the matter in a different light and refunded the money.
Wilson, through his company, made money by helping home and business owners apply for and collect refunds, which typically amounted to thousands of dollars.
This time around, he expects to acquire and advise clients who plan to build in the county, whether individual homeowners or large developers, helping them challenge impact fee bills.
According to an article in the August 2008 issue of the Florida Bar Journal, "impact fees ... may be refuted by the developer with additional evidence or an alternate study."
"The county has created a new opportunity for us to provide a service to clients," said Wilson, who plans to use his analysis of population growth and county finances as an "alternative study" to show that his clients do not have to pay.
He said the burden of proof in such a dispute would be on the county, citing a 2009 Florida statute he summarizes this way: "In any action challenging an impact fee, the government has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the imposition or amount of the fee meets the requirements of Florida law.
"The bill also prohibits courts from using a deferential standard (towards local governments) when considering such cases."
Impact fees are based on a pre-established level of service the county is committed to providing. Wilson believes the county may try to circumvent what he says are the consequences of excess impact fee collection by simply raising the level of service standard, decreeing that more infrastructure per resident is needed than under the earlier standard.
That would allow the county to continue collecting impact fees in order to meet the higher standard but Wilson said the county would be on shaky legal ground if it goes that route. He added that if it enforces collection of impact fees by that means, there will be a class action lawsuit filed against it.
Though Wilson prevailed in the earlier impact fee dispute, other of his initiatives have been less successful and it is hard to tell if he will get traction with this effort.
The county's slow-motion capitulation to ..., 10 May 2012 [cached]
The county's slow-motion capitulation to Charlie Wilson over the issue of impact fee refunds continued last Friday when staff released a list of 282 more property owners due money from the county, this time from the law enforcement impact fee account.
Wilson, owner of Impact Fee Consultants, believes substantial additional refunds are due.
"It is like Chinese water torture with the county," he says. "First we have to find the money they are hiding, then we have to fight with staff to get the refunds."
Wilson believes the county has engaged in a spending spree since he raised the issue of refunds last summer, pushing projects through to empty impact fee accounts before money has to be returned.
According to a chart he provided to this newspaper, the county spent less than $300,000 annually from impact fee accounts in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and then suddenly spent $7.6 million over the past 12 months.
"Staff is doing everything it can to spend the money to keep from giving refunds," Wilson says.
As an example, Wilson points to the South Recreation Complex which was finally funded in March after years of lying dormant.
"They spent $2.5 million on South County on March 20," Wilson says.
Under pressure from Wilson and his allies, several commissioners shifted their position and decided in December to refund $132,000 in principal that staff said remained in the account, while hanging onto nearly a million in interest accrued on spent and unspent fees.
Vero Beach 32963 - Vero Beachside Newspaper - Vero Beach News - Serving Zip 32963 - Impact fee refunds big issue for county, 15 Dec 2011 [cached]
Local activist Charlie Wilson says the county may be liable for tens of millions of dollars in impact fee refunds to developers whose projects went bust when the real es tate boom collapsed.
"Court suits are either in place or pending that could leave taxpayers on the hook for upwards of $50 million," says Wilson, one-time Vero Beach City Council member and former president of Asset Research and Recovery, the company that brought the impact refund issue to the forefront earlier this year.
Others with knowledge of impact fee ordinances say Wilson is mistaken about the county's liability, but a close reading of the one case filed so far, "Miami Lakes FVP v. Indian River County," reveals potential problems for the county.
"Charlie Wilson is woofing up the wrong tree," says Arthur Neuberger, who was a member of the county commission in 2005 when the impact fees were paid.
"Charlie Wilson makes statements he can't back up," says developer Joe Paladin, who has paid impact fees on many residential developments and served as chairman of the Growth Awareness Committee of Indian River.
Vero Beach 32963 - Vero Beachside Newspaper - Vero Beach News - Serving Zip 32963 - $1.1 million question: Are 600 island residents owed refunds?, 28 July 2011 [cached]
Photo of Vero Beach councilman Charlie Wilson
About 600 barrier island residents are due a total of $1.1 million in old impact fees paid to Indian River County, according to former Vero Beach Councilman Charlie Wilson, who now is in the asset recovery business.
County staff, however, takes the position that no such refunds are due from the county.
Wilson has turned in 73 applications for refunds, which he said would net an average of $3,000 each for property owners in Vero's south beach and the unincorporated south barrier island.
When Wilson made his pitch to the county earlier this month, county staff said the project is "still needed" and a "still in the work program," but that the acquisition of rights-of-way from PNC Bank and Northern Trust are holding up the spending of the dollars.
"The fund has not been used in 13 years and all of a sudden we've got a plan to widen an intersection that's not even in our jurisdiction," Wilson said, noting that area is in the City of Vero Beach.
Wilson said the county has taxpayers' money squirrelled away in various funds, being used not necessarily for projects, but for inter-departmental borrowing and other nebulous government accounting functions. He formed a company, Asset Research and Recovery, headquartered near the airport in Vero Beach, to get that money back for people for a fee.
"It is very likely that average citizens could find it impossible to receive these funds on their own," Wilson said.
Wilson said "insiders" who know how to navigate the county system have received more than $3 million in impact fee refunds over the past 10 years, but that the average homeowner is at a disadvantage.
Wilson said some of the traffic impact fees he's researched go all the way back to the years 1985 through 1998, but he's mistaken, according to county officials.
Wilson asked commissioners to re-open the refund period to give the 600 residents he potentially represents a chance to get their money back.
Instead they have asked that their refund be given to charity," Wilson wrote in an update letter to the more than 500 beachside residents remaining who have not yet given him authorization to seek a refund.
"We think that that is a good idea so you now have the option of having any refund go in your name to a charity," he said, and included a form listing several local nonprofit groups and a blank option to designate a group.
Former political candidate Charlie ... [cached]
Former political candidate Charlie Wilson, a director with Vero Beach's Asset Research and Recovery Inc., has been trying in recent months to get the commission to refund fees collected from his 128 clients between 1986 and 1999 in a district on the barrier island, stretching from Beachland Boulevard south to the Indian River-St. Lucie County line.
The commission had no further right to the money, Wilson argued, since it wasn't spent within the first six years the fees were collected.
Charlie Wilson
Good job Mr. Wilson. Guess govt better use it or lose it in the future.
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