Washington state law authorizes the Washington State Building Code Council (SBCC) to impose a fee on residential and commercial building permits issued by local government agencies, plus an additional surcharge for each residential unit after the first unit (RCW 19.27.085). Each Washington county and city is required to send the money collected for this purpose to the state treasurer on a quarterly basis. SDCI has always added this fee and any related surcharges to building permits issued by the City of Seattle.
State law further specifies that the legislature may adjust these charges every four years, although the fee has not changed in several decades. This spring the state legislature established new SBCC fees, effective on July 1, 2018. The fee is increasing from $4.50 on each building permit (plus a $2 additional surcharge on each residential unit after the first unit) to $6.50 on each residential building permit and $25 on each commercial building permit. The $2 additional surcharge remains the same for both residential and commercial. The fees will be automatically added in our permitting system when building permits are issued.
The Seattle City Council recently adopted the 2018 budget, including legislation that implements SDCI fee changes in 2018 to cover wage increases that reflect our current cost of doing business.
On January 1, 2018, these service fees go into effect. As in past years, we are making inflationary adjustments to most fees. This year’s inflationary adjustment is 2.75 percent. As an example, our Base Hourly Fee will increase from $210 to $216. The Land Use Hourly Fee will increase from $315 to $324.
We are also implementing new fees for reviews of environmentally critical areas revegetation and hazardous tree removal. We will now charge the Land Use Hourly Fee for these types of reviews.
We have restructured our inspection and enforcement fee for temporary noise variances. The revised fee is based on the number nights that are permitted to have a noise variance. We calculate this fee by multiplying .25 of the SDCI hourly rate by half of the days that have a noise variance. For example, .25 of $216 is $54. One-half of a 14-day variance is 7 days. Multiply $54 by 7 to get the inspection fee of $378.
New Director’s Rules, the Building Valuation Data (BVD) table and other fee-related information will be available to you on our website by the end of January.