MANATEE -- Manatee County will reduce more than 50 building permit and inspection fees to encourage more building projects in the county.
Caroll Dupre, Manatee County building official, said there will be a widespread 10 percent reduction.
"The reduction in fees will lower the cost of doing business to our customers and more adequately cover staff cost," said Dupre.
Dupre said to ensure code compliance, effective Tuesday, $150 permits will be required for accessory structures under 120 square feet, which have been previously exempt, and pre-fabricated utility shed permits will be $100.
The Building and Development Services Department also reinstated permits for non-structural fences to ensure code compliance. Commercial permits will cost $87 and residential $68.
All other building permit fees will be reduced 10 percent across the board, however, there will be no discount for the 3 percent surcharge mandated by the state.
The fee reductions, coming on top of the 6 percent cut in fees last year, were approved by county commissioners last week and are the result of a rebound in the local economy with building permits fully covering expenses at in the Building Division of the Building and Development Services Department, said Nick Azzara, Manatee County information outreach coordinator.
Building and permit fees can only be used to fund the Building Division and cannot supplement other parts of the county budget.
Jason "JB" Taylor, project architect with Fawley-Bryant, works closely with developers and contractors. He said the fee reduction will increase competition for business.
"When you look at permit fees, they are one part of the puzzle," he said. "When you start reducing those num
bers, you can start making development a lot more viable."
Taylor said any incentive is a good thing for the economic recovery.
"It may not be a whole lot of money, but it makes it competitive," said Taylor. "If any sort of fee comes down, at the end of day, it's a good thing."
Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate.