City looks to amend commercial building fee waivers
KINGMAN – While the City is happy restaurants, retail stores and other businesses took advantage of the commercial building fee waiver, it could shift the focus of the program to specifically address the downtown area.
During Fiscal Year 2018, 122 permits were issued that resulted in $233,410 in total fees. The commercial building fee waiver took effect April 1, 2018, and the fiscal year ended June 30, 2018. That means there were three months in Fiscal Year 2018 that were impacted by the fee waiver.
About $12,400 in total fees were waived during that time period. The majority of those FY 2018 permits, 114, fell under the City’s “other” category when it comes to building projects, which speaks to things like remodels and additions.
Jumping to the present, July 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019, 107 total permits were issued. There were about $201,000 in total fees paid and $226,447 in building and $6,240 in engineering fees waived. Once again, there were far more “other” projects than new commercial projects. There were two downtown businesses that said the fee waiver was an incentive to remodel.
The question presented to Council was whether the City would like to continue waiving commercial building fees.
“I think it’s fairly safe to say that we did not recoup sales tax revenue from the fee waiver,” said City Manager Ron Foggin, also adding that a message has been sent to businesses that Kingman is business friendly.
Based on those results, City staff recommended not continuing with the waiver program as originally enacted. Instead, staff presented that there could remain building fee waivers for certain areas of the City like downtown.
“In looking at areas where we would like to see development and where we think people could utilize the discount the most is in our downtown area and on Route 66, basically from where Beale Street starts down to I-40 is kind of where we’re looking,” Foggin said.
Councilmembers Deana Nelson and Ken Watkins thought it would be a good idea to target not only Route 66 up to the interchange, but beyond as well. Vice Mayor Travis Lingenfelter suggested including new restaurants and retail stores in the fee waivers.
Targeting a specific area of the City for development is a process, the city manager said, adding that details of a targeted campaign could return to Council by July.
Council voted to extend the current policy an additional 90 days during which time a targeted incentive fee waiver policy will be developed. The original fee waiver policy was set to expire June 30, 2019.