New Columbia Building Permit Fee Goes Into Effect Monday

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COLUMBIA - A new building permit fee went into effect on Monday in Columbia. The city added the fee to make calculations easier and to increase revenue that will recover service costs.

The change means home builders and developers will now pay $2.25 per $1,000 of a site's valuation price. It will affect both residential and commercial projects in the Columbia area.

Officials at Columbia's Building and Site Development office said last year only 32 percent of service costs were recovered. With the new permit fee, they hope to increase that number substantially, to 75 percent. Building and Site Development estimates it will generate an additional $564,000 on top of its usual revenue with the new fee, which will make its total revenue about $826,000.

Building Regulations Supervisor Phil Teeple said the extra revenue will hopefully decrease the amount normally subsidized from citizen's property taxes to cover costs from 68 percent to 25 percent.

Teeple said that the new fee will most likely affect home builders and developers the most, as project costs will increase for them.

Prior to the change, the city hadn't revised the fee since 1996. The old fee was based on separate tiered systems for both residential and commercial property.