Real estate developers often agree to finance neighborhood improvements, like a sidewalk or a park or a bus stop, to help secure approval for their projects, but many are drawing the line in a new fight: paying for public art.

A growing effort to make developers include public art in their private projects or contribute to a public art fund is meeting angry resistance. Municipal leaders facing tight budgets are looking for alternative funding, but builders say the new ordinances are an “art tax” that increase the cost of a project.

“Among other cost drivers are the additional expense of hiring art consultants and attorneys to present proposed works to an art board,” said Truly Burton, executive vice president of the Builders Association of South Florida. “All this factors into how much someone pays in rent or a mortgage payment every month.”
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