For Immediate ReleaseMay 24, 2016
Costs of doing business keep rising, but fees haven’t increased at same pace
San Rafael, CA – To make sure the cost of providing essential services are covered within its budget, the County of Marin is implementing fee increases in many departments for its next two-year budget.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors heard a staff report, conducted a public hearing and voted to approve the fee increases during the May 24 meeting at the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael.
The fee increases will affect services from Agriculture/Weights and Measures, Community Development, Cultural Services, Elections, Parks and Probation. In separate actions, the Board conducted the first readings of ordinances that would adjust Public Works surveying fees and hazardous materials-related fees by 3 percent in fiscal 2016-17 and another 3 percent in 2017-18. The ordinances will come back to the Board for public hearings on June 7. In addition, several other departments are conducting fee studies and plan to bring recommendations to the Board at a later time.
“By consistently adjusting fees to reflect our increased cost of doing business, we make sure general purpose revenues such as property taxes are being used for our highest-priority needs such as road maintenance,” said County Administrator Matthew Hymel.
Fees haven’t been adjusted consistently since 2012 despite rising costs associated with delivering services.
“This is a responsible way for us to have these fees cover their fair share of the cost of covering business,” Board President Steve Kinsey said during the Supervisors meeting Tuesday. “Too many agencies wait too long and then try to make up for lost time. I think the idea of annual incremental adjustments (during budget time) is appropriate.”
The Supervisors, who maintain equity as one of their top priorities, said during March budget hearings that they would not be in favor of raising fees directly tied to the County’s equity projects. Thus, Marin County Free Library fees and Marin County Parks entrance fees will not rise with the newly approved increases because of the commitment to ensure equal access to libraries and parks. Additionally, the Board will consider a comprehensive review to park visitor fees in June when it discusses the results of a visitor survey conducted by the Parks Department earlier this spring.
Angela NicholsonAssistant County AdministratorCounty Administrator's Office
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite 325San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-4396Email: Angela NicholsonCounty Administrator website