The city now charges more for building permits.
“It was considerably more per permit than we’d been paying,” said Chuck Giffin, owner of Texas State Roofing
These municipal solid waste service charges, which fund street and landfill maintenance, as well as compliance and education programs used to be handled by local landfills.
“From what we’ve been told, the information we’ve been given; some of them haven’t been charging for the permitting fees,” said City Council Member Michael Hunter.
Local contractors are upset they weren’t notified of the change, which puts them on the hook for anywhere between six and 12.8 cents per square foot, depending on the project; until two weeks after the change went into effect.
“We received notice on October 24th it took effect on October 9th,” said Giffin, whose firm uses private landfills rather than facilities run by the city.
And why make the change now, with people struggling financially post-Harvey?
“The people shouldn’t be having to pay extra fees at this point in time when they’re trying to put their homes back together,” said Giffin.
The City Council may get involved.
“I think the timing’s tough,” said Hunter. “I think it would be something to look at, something I’m going to bring up and something I think other council members would be interested in.”
But that doesn’t help contractors, like Giffin currently paying between $120-$700 per job out of their own pockets.
“Everybody wants more money,” said Giffin. “The materials want more money, labor wants more money, now the city wants more money.”
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