Background – Greene County has not increased the one- and two-family dwellings building permit fee since ’07. In ’04, the County and HBAGS had reached an understanding regarding the County’s plan for fee collection to cover 70% of department’s direct operating costs. Before the building drop off, the County was close to the 60% mark. Currently, fee collection is at approximately 25% of operating costs. Over the past five years, other cuts have been made in the department budget including reducing the number of inspectors from 5 to 3 and all departments have eliminated training. No funds have been used to give raises or cost of living increases. With budget cuts having been made, in an effort to maintain quality of service and to avoid a scenario which results in a dramatic one-time increase in fees later down the road, the county proposes an incremental increase in its formula for one and two family building permit fees at this time.
Fee Proposal – Greene County’s Formula for Permit Fees:
Existing formula – Area X 70 X .68 X .002 = Building Fee (Minimum fee $45.00)
Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Fees = Building Fee X .35 X 3 (Min. Fee $45.00 X 3)
Proposed formula – Area X 75 X .70 X .0023 = Building Fee (Min. Fee $ 60.00)
Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Fees = Building Fee X .35 X 3 (Min. Fee $ 60.00 X 3)
Comparison – Charts Provided by Greene County (they include the building, electric, mechanical and plumbing fees.)
HBA Board Review – At its November meeting, the HBA Board of Directors reviewed the draft proposal which had also been previously discussed with staff and leadership. While the Association does not invite fee increases, the Board found that this is a reasonable increase which is part of an administrative approach that had originally garnered HBA agreement in terms of fee collection as a ratio of operating costs. It has been proposed following an extended period of no increases and fee collection is well under the cost recovery percentage goal at this time.
The fee hearings will be on December 3 and 17, 2012, 9:30 AM at a regular County Commission hearing. The HBA will have staff/leadership presence there to affirm the points made above.