B’ham council discusses reinstating permit fees

Birmingham city council hurdles

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) -Some Birmingham city councilors Wednesday pushed back on the idea of reimplementing fees to take out a construction permit.

If approved by council, this could mean an extra $3 million in the general fund.

During the recession in 2008 the city started waiving certain construction permit fees to entice more business. The problem is, a decade later, those fees were never re-instated.

Officials say the fees could draw an additional $3 million for the city. However, Councilor Clinton Woods would like to see a public hearing on the issue first to see if everyone is on board. Mayor Randall Woodfin said he’s already brought all the information to the council and has talked with several in the construction field, who say they’re ok with the fees. Council President Valerie Abbott says they could still hold a public hearing but believes the increase would be good for the city.

“We need to make sure that the people who are reaping the benefits of the services are actually paying for at least some semblance of what they cost. Because it’s not right for the taxpayers to be basically subsidizing developers,” says Abbott.

The budget proposal from the mayor includes the additional monies. The council plans to meet Monday to go over the issue.

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