Last month, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) voted 4-1 to increase building fees by 25% beginning in Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. Commissioner Beth Narverud was the dissenting vote. The new fees are to go into effect in October 2022.
Development Services Director Aaron Pool demonstrated to commissioners at the June 14, 2022 meeting that revenues dipped to a loss of $16,589 in 2020 and the last increase in building fees took effect in 2015. Also in 2020, additional staff members were added to the Building Department in response to increased development activities, however, no fee increase was implemented at that time.
Projections for the FY 2023 increase estimate the net income for the Building Enterprise fund at $476,000. This is based on a 5% increase in development activities. County Administrator Jeff Rogers gave a representation of the fee increase using a roofing permit. Currently, a roofing permit costs $145. The new fee will result in a cost of $181.
According to information submitted with the agenda paperwork, the Development Services staff cautions that long intervals between review and adjustment of fees “are problematic for budgeting and continuity of operations.” Because future development is unpredictable, “Building fees are recommended to be monitored annually and adjusted as needed not less than every two years.”
Pool reported that Building Enterprise revenue projections for FY22 show a loss of $164,278, however reserves are adequate to bride a loss of net income in FY22 into FY23. Showing a Revenue vs. Expense chart that he described as “chaotic,” Pool cautioned that the possibility of recession could have an effect on revenues, as well as the building trends within the county.