GRAPHIC: The builders' burden

September 11, 2012 | 8:01 p.m. CDT
If you have a new home in Columbia, chances are city inspectors made several trips to your property while it was being built. They checked to see whether it was built to code and safely constructed, among other things. To pay for most of that work, the city charges builders a fee when they receive a permit to construct a building.

The way that fee is calculated hasn’t changed since 1994, but it would be updated as part of the proposed city budget for Columbia. That budget, which covers all city departments and services, likely will be voted on by the City Council on Monday. With this change, the cost of a building permit would rise roughly 2.5 times for most new buildings. In some areas, especially residential construction, the increase would be even greater than that. But, even if the city’s fee was higher, it would still be much lower than what other cities charge.

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