The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a raft of fee increases for both the county's health department and its deed recording office. In the latter case, the increased fees will most people developing or transferring property within the county.
The increased fees are a function of the need to increase the revenue of the county's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which was established in 1993 to fund various affordable housing-related projects around the county.
In a letter to the board, Recorder of Deeds Nancy Becker told the commissioners that the fees supporting the fund hadn't changed in nearly 20 years.
The Affordable Housing Trust Fund base fee for filing a deed or mortgage with the office will increase to $26. Fees for returned documents, recording subdivision plans, and other administrative tasks are also increasing.
"Our goal is actually not to make that much more money from this," said county chief financial officer Uri Monson. "All the Affordable Housing Trust [money] doesn't go to the county, it goes to the fund."
The Health Department fees are increasing as the result of a review that found the county's fees to be outdated or out of line with comparable fees in surrounding counties, Monson said.
Many of the increased health fees will affect development, such as water quality management fees for sewage system permits and site evaluations.
Other will affect establishments such as restaurants, grocery stores, and food trucks. Some of the increases are nominal, such as a $5.00 increase for retail food stores of less than 1,500 square feet. Other establishments, such as sit-down dining businesses with 49 or fewer seats, will see hikes of as much as 40 percent (from $210 to $295).
The new Recorder of Deeds fees will go into effect in 2013. The new Health Department fees will take effect before the end of the year.