SB 1473: Cities and Counties Must Collect Fees

SB 1473: CITIES AND COUNTIES MUST COLLECT FEES TO FUND DEVELOPMENT OF STATE BUILDING STANDARDS

Effective January 1, 2009, cities and counties must collect, on behalf of the California Building Standards Commission ("Commission"), a fee from building permit applicants based on building valuation to fund development of statewide building standards. SB 1473 (Calderon) added Health and Safety Code Sections 18930.5, 18931.6, 18931.7 and 18938.3 to mandate the collection of the fees to fund development of statewide building standards, with emphasis on green building standards.

An applicant for a building permit must pay a fee of four dollars ($4.00) per every hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) in building valuation, as determined by the local building official, with a minimum fee of one dollar ($1.00). The Commission may ultimately reduce the fee upon a determination that a lesser amount is necessary to maintain the building standards development program.

Cities and counties may retain up to ten percent (10percent) of the fee to cover related administrative costs and for code enforcement education. The remaining funds must be transmitted to the Commission for deposit into the Building Standards Administration Special Revolving Fund. Prior to appropriation of the funds, the Commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development must submit a joint expenditure plan identifying the proposed uses for the funds. SB 1473 is silent on the frequency (monthly, yearly, or other) that cities and counties must transmit the fees collected to the Commission.

Cities and counties may need to update fee schedules or city publications to incorporate this additional fee, even though the fee is required by the State.

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