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This profile was last updated on 5/8/14  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Charlie Wilson

Wrong Charlie Wilson?

Founder and President

Vero Beach Chamber of Commerce

Employment History

  • Activist
    Vero Beach Chamber of Commerce
  • President
    Impact Fee Consultants
  • Owner
    Impact Fee Consultants
  • City Council Member
    Vero Beach 32963 Media LLC

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Board Member
    Asset Research
  • Founder
    Asset Research
  • City Councilman
    Vero Beach 32963 Media LLC
  • Treasurer
    The Republican Committee of Lower Merion and Narberth
  • Member
    Vero Beach City Council
  • City Councilman
88 Total References
Web References
Former councilman Charlie ..., 8 May 2014 [cached]
Former councilman Charlie Wilson has stated he intends to run, as he moved into the city last September and made a point of letting his friends and rivals know he had established residency a year out from the qualifying period for the November 2014 ballot. Wilson, who first made the motion in 2009 to invite FPL to talk about purchasing Big Blue, recently founded the new Vero Beach Chamber of Commerce and has been an outspoken activist with regard to the fair assessment and prudent use of impact fees.
But is Vero "ready for Heady," or Wilson, or Daige - again?
Former Vero Beach councilman ..., 1 May 2014 [cached]
Former Vero Beach councilman Charlie Wilson, founder and president of the new Vero Beach Chamber of Commerce, appointed himself as chief crusader on impact fees a few years ago and though he hoped for even more sweeping reform, Wilson said the county's move marks significant progress.
"We are pleased with the progress and the reduced fees sorely needed by Vero Beach business for expansion and employee hiring but there is more to do," Wilson said.
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.
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.
Vero Beach 32963 - Vero Beachside Newspaper - Vero Beach News - Serving Zip 32963 - Impact fees: Can county continue to collect them?, 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.
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