Permits (part 5)

Part the Last: Building Permit

Once all of the preceding parts were finished, I was able to ask for and receive my building permit.  But only after a cost and a hassle.

As a fully functioning government unit, they can’t simply have an easy formula for figuring out costs.  It can’t be a fifty dollar flat-cost (even though, I’m sure, it takes just as much manpower to file the plans for a house as it does to file the plans for a Burger King sign) and it can’t be a simple “$100 for houses less than 2000 sq. ft. and $200 for anything larger” (why would a larger house need more money?  The same reason newer cars pay more the sticker on their license plates)  It has to be extremely complicated.

For instance, did you know I wasn’t told how much my building permit would be?  Did you know they wouldn’t even take a guess?  I have to look at a list of numbers and determine how much I should volunteer for a slip of paper.

Here is the cost sheet I was given to figure out the cost of my building permit:

Microsoft Word - building permit fee schedule 2014

Yes, there’re a lot of confusing numbers on there (it’s like watching the worst episode of The Animimatrix).  None so more than these ones:

Microsoft Word - building permit fee schedule 2014

According to this, if I have a 1000 square foot house with a tiny garage and an unfinished basement, I would have to pay exactly $127849.28 for my permit.

Then I looked a little father up the page:

Microsoft Word - building permit fee schedule 2014

The numbers at the bottom are to calculate how much my house might be worth based on square footage and then I’m to use those numbers multiplied by the appropriate numbers at the top of this page in order to correctly pay for the slip of paper that says it’s legal for me to put a house on land I bought for the reason of putting a house on it.

So here’s the formula they want me to use: My house has 1700 sq. ft. of living space, a 600 sq. ft. basement, and a 24’x24′ garage.  That means I have to use this formula, as offered by the bottom set of numbers: 1700 x 107.00 + 600 x 28.46 + 24 x 24 x 40.62.  I get $222,373.12.  From there, I have to create a table as offered by the top set of numbers:


The last number is the amount I owe to the city in order to obtain a piece of paper saying that I plan on hiring people to build a house where I will live and pay taxes to the city.

I used this alternative formula: 1% of “however much I tell them I’m spending on my house” + $10.


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