Columbia has increased building permit fees for the first time since 1996. Last Monday, the Columbia City Council approved the fee along with several others.
Columbia has maintained the same fee for all building permits the last 16 years, but with an overworked inspection staff and need for additional revenue, the city decided to raise its permit fee.
The new plan will offer a standardized rate of $2.25 per $1,000 of assessed value. Shane Creech, manager of Building and Site Development, says the city is short on personnel.
“But we are one plan reviewer and two site inspectors less than we were just one year ago," Creech says.
Don Stamper, executive director of the Central Missouri Development Council, says he is concerned the increase will make Columbia less competitive for retailers.
“But here’s the deal, we want to make sure housing is affordable in our community," Stamper says. "We have to have an eye on affordability. We want to make sure it’s affordable for people to come here and make an investment. And so, as these fees creep up, it can have an effect on where people make that investment and we want to make sure we are competitive."
The fee increase starts Oct. 1, and the city estimates it will garner $564,000 of additional revenue.