Manatee lowers many permitting, inspection fees to benefit home, business owners

  • Jul 27, 2016

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (July 28, 2016) – County Commissioners on Tuesday approved a set of building permit and inspection fees that will lower the cost of doing business with the Building Department by as much as 20 percent on many projects. Most of the fee reductions will benefit homeowners seeking to add to or remodel their homes.

 The fee reduction comes on top of a 10 percent reduction in fees in 2013 and a 6 percent decrease in 2012. Building Department officials say fees are being lowered because permitting applications continue to soar in Manatee County, averaging more than 2,300 a month in 2016.

 

County Administrator Ed Hunzeker made it clear to Commissioners before their vote to lower the fees that revenues from the Building Department can only go to pay for building and development-related services to the community. In other words, income from the Building Department cannot go to address other areas of the County’s budget.

 

“Building and development services are funded 100 percent by these user fees,” Hunzeker said. “These funds are separate and distinct from the general fund that goes to pay for general government. We’re not in business of of overcharging our customers. Staff are efficient and effective and they can do what they need to do without more money. Our customers are satisfied, so it’s prudent to lower costs.”

The reduction in fees is the result of a strong rebound in the local economy with building permits fully covering expenses at in the Building division of the Building and Development Services Department. Building and permit fees can only be used to fund the Building Division and cannot supplement other parts of the county budget.

 

“Most of our customers are people who have lived here a long time and need a new air conditioner, roof or want to remodel their kitchen,” said Building Official CJ Dupre. “Some our fees were high, so we’re bringing them down.”


“We always want to be fair and equitable with our costs, and these lower costs will better reflect the cost of doing business with the Building Department,” said Director John Barnott. “The new fees will lower the cost of doing business here and adequately cover our expenses.”


The lower fee schedule will go into effect Monday, Aug. 1. To learn more about the fees or new requirements, call Manatee County Building and Development Services Department at (941) 748-4501, ext. 3800. The new fee schedule can be found online.

 

For more information on Manatee County Government, visit online at www.mymanatee.org or call (941) 748-4501. You can also follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/manatee.county.fl and on Twitter, @ManateeGov.