HB 401: Improving Fee Transparency
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When a municipality collects a fee to facilitate a utility hookup, land-use application, inspection, regulation, or review, they are required to charge no more than a reasonable estimate of what it actually costs to carry that action out. The only problem is, there’s no transparent standard by which these requirements can be monitored.
HB 401, introduced by Representative Steve Waldrip, creates a system for these fees to be tracked and reported. The bill requires municipalities to track the fees and costs associated with the specified service. They must also prepare a report detailing when the funds were received, why the funds were collected, and the projected schedule for the services. This report will then be sent to the state auditor.
The requirements to meet these standards are already in law. This bill simply institutes a standard tracking process that creates more transparency in municipal fees.