Builders will pay 30 percent more in Davidson County fees

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 12:45am

Building permit and other construction-related fees enforced by Metro Codes will soon increase by 30 percent.

The Metro Council on Tuesday night approved a hike that is supposed to account for the insufficient level of dollars the codes department has collected over the past few years through fees administered to acquire permits. The economic downturn has resulted in less construction activity, meaning fewer developers are applying for building permits.

The increase passed the council on third reading by a 27-8 margin.

“The codes department, and its inspectors, have a variety of things to do,” said Councilman Sam Coleman. “If we don’t finance these services then our districts will suffer.”

But several council members questioned whether now is the right time for a fee hike.

“Pure and simple, it’s a tax increase,” Councilman Michael Craddock said. “Anytime you raise a fee it’s a tax increase. Sometimes that’s warranted, and sometimes it’s not. It’s not warranted to do it right this minute in some of the slowest economic times we’ve ever had in this city.”

At-large Councilman Charlie Tygard said “raising fees and increasing costs to consumers in a bad economy is just a very bad idea,” adding it makes Davidson County have higher fees than surrounding counties impose.

“It sends the wrong signal to the community in a time when we’re desperately seeking new development and new projects in this county,” Tygard said. “It has the potential to move some of those projects across county lines.”

Terry Cobb, director of the codes department, has said a 30 percent fee increase puts Nashville on par with rates enforced in several cities with similar populations.

The majority of dollars collected by the codes department is delivered to Metro’s general fund.

7 Comments on this post:

By: richgoose on 4/21/10 at 4:44

I would like to see building fees raised 300% on residential property. This should no problem for the builders as they are going to pass it on in the form of a higher selling price.

Obama will underwrite the loan as long as you are not credit worthy. The city will be able to continue the brush pickup and tear down the crack houses as they become an eyesore.

This would help speed up the re-distribution of the wealth as those who do not qualify for an entitlement would have to pay the higher building fees when they purchase a home.

Th

By: localboy on 4/21/10 at 7:52

sounds like a winner

By: girliegirl on 4/21/10 at 7:53

@Richgoose... LMBO

By: NoBigGov on 4/21/10 at 9:35

As a former contractor in Davidson County I can attest to the pure inefficiency of the whole codes department. Having worked in over 40 states in US and applied for permits in hundreds of cities, Nashville is in the top three worst run organizations. The department is infested with cronism and needless difficulty.

Several years ago when I asked one of their top officials why don't you publish a guide and streamline the application process, the response was, "If I did that, I would have to let some of these people go...plus that would be too easy for you". Over fifteen trips to the department for a relatively simple project later, I received a permit.

I can only imagine where the 30% increase in fees will go....probably straight to "do-nothing" middle and upper management salaries and "expenses" and not to where it is needed... bringing Nashville Metro Codes into the 21st century.

By: PromosFriend on 4/21/10 at 1:34

Just one question - If the codes department can justify a 30% increase in permit fees during a time of slow activity, does that mean that codes will then justify a like decrease in codes fees in an up economy? It is a rare thing indeed when a "temporary" increase is actually temporary.
JustOnePerson'sOpinion

By: concernedtaxpayer on 4/21/10 at 8:46

Instead of raising the fees they should have let some of the codes employees go. And the fees are paid by contractors but ultimately it comes out of the pocket of the homeowner or investor. This is a step towards having decreased building permits and more run down houses.

richgoose: you are full of it. the brush collection might as well close down. Metro should not be held responsible for taking care of brush on private property. And the way Metro handles the brush is very inefficient. Having 12 trucks going to the mulch facility is wasted tax dollars. Instead, Metro should run 4-6 trucks and have a portable tub chipper to transport to each district.

By: gigibagoly@yahoo.com on 4/22/10 at 12:16

it is in our constitution writen ''a dog can bark as much he wants to the moon the moon don't have ears for his concern.
to bad the constitution do not have cover for the second part of the thought, so i think we are OK