New fees on the way for Jonesboro

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - 2010 will start with a new year, new resolutions and for some new fees.  The city of Jonesboro will be charging more for some things and will be implementing fees for the first time for others.

This is something that has been about nine months in planning all to help bring the city's revenue up!

"We're just simply trying to recover our costs," said Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin.  "We formed the revenue enhancement committee to look at all the fees we have in the city.  Many of those fees have not been increased for thirty years or longer."

Perrin said with sales tax revenues down a lot for 2009 and now there is a need to bring in more money to run the city.  That's why this committee started working to raise money back in March.

"If we do the same number of permits and the same activity then this committee will have generated over $700,000," said Perrin.

All the department heads searched all the cities that were comparable to the size of Jonesboro as well as the cities right next to the city.  Using the fees and the fee prices charged in those other cities Perrin said Jonesboro is now more in line with the way he says things should be.

"We found out that we are way below the fees that other cities are charging for the same service," said Perrin.

Perrin said some federal laws have changed on storm water regulations that require the city to work with a contractor so that fee is being passed on to the customer.

"There were also cases where we were providing a service we were not charging for," said Perrin.

Some of the first ever fees come from the Parks and Recreation Department, Planning Department, Engineering Department and Inspections Department.

"You cannot take a $10 fee and jump it to $100," said Perrin.

Perrin said he doesn't expect the economy to be where it was two years ago but every penny that comes into the city counts.

"Nickels, dimes and quarters as my dad used to tell me add up to dollars," said Perrin.

A full list of what fees will be raised and what new fees will be added is being prepared by the city.  That list should be available in the next week.

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