When a local business pays a fee to the health department, parking agencies or to build a new facility, do you really think the business pays even a dime?  Of course not, it is the customer that pays through higher prices.  Since government does not have enough money to operate as they want (not as they need) they raise fee’s to make up for the lack of revenues due to poor policies that kill jobs.

At some point the public will say enough—that is why it takes 2.5 years or more to build a hamburger joint in Carpentaria—and six weeks in Texas.  Texas is growing and prosperous, California is in a Depression.  Andy Caldwell has written an excellent piece for the Santa Barbara News-Press on this issue.

“Some of the most egregious fees are associated with construction and the subsequent traffic impacts generated by new development.

The theory is that each new business generates so much traffic that they have to pay their fair share for traffic impacts.

But in reality, new businesses do not necessarily generate new and additional traffic.

For instance, having an additional grocery store in a town does not mean people make twice as many trips to buy groceries.”

See the full story by clicking on the blue headline

 

Caldwell:  The Cost of Government Regulations and Fee’s

 

Caldwell : Guest Opinion: The California state fees

Andy Caldwell, Santa Barbara News-Press,  12/28/12

After the passage of Prop. 13, the state of California started taking away tax proceeds from local government in order to pay some of its own obligations.

In effect, the state robbed local municipalities blind by shifting revenue streams back to the state while burdening local government with unfunded mandates and program costs previously borne by the state.

Local government has since burdened local citizens and the business community to pay for this malfeasance. The primary means being the implementation of fees for services and impacts.

Some of the most egregious fees are associated with construction and the subsequent traffic impacts generated by new development.

The theory is that each new business generates so much traffic that they have to pay their fair share for traffic impacts.

But in reality, new businesses do not necessarily generate new and additional traffic.

For instance, having an additional grocery store in a town does not mean people make twice as many trips to buy groceries.

Notwithstanding the fact that the logic and rationale behind these fees make no sense, local government nonetheless relies upon them as a proverbial cash cow.

In the Goleta Community Plan area, if you were to build a 2,000-square-foot, 24-hour convenience store, the county will charge you $680,850 in traffic fees.

A 4,000-square-foot bank with a drive-through must pay $2,263,144.

A 10-pump service station would pay $960,263.

This is just one reason the cost of living is higher in the South County.

For comparison, in Orcutt, the county only charges a fraction for the impacts associated with these same types of businesses.

The same 24-hour convenience store is charged $172,212.

The same size bank would pay $150,728.  The same size service station would pay $263,530.

Not only are these fees outrageous, they are disproportional.

For example, the 24-hour convenience store in Goleta pays four times more than in Orcutt.

But the banker would pay 15 times more in Goleta than in Orcutt.

Construction costs don’t vary that much between the North and South County.

If these fees could be justified they would be proportional based upon some objective criteria, but they are not.

And, during this recession, when bids for construction contracts are coming in lower than they have in decades, why does the county keep raising the fees as if construction costs and impacts are rising?

What taxpayers, consumers and business owners need to do is press the state legislature as to whether they will rescind the authority to charge these fees if they plan on introducing a ballot measure to roll back Prop. 13 property tax protections on business.

There is virtually no business that could withstand paying ever-increasing property taxes on top of these fees.

Of course, consumers eventually end up paying for these costs in the end if the market will bear it.

That means you.

Count the cost the next time you fill up, go to the bank, or get a Slurpee.

Andy Caldwell is the executive director of COLAB and the host of the “Andy Caldwell Show” weekdays from 3 to 5 p.m. on News-Press Radio AM1290.

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