I wanted to give to you a “heads-up” about proposed SB2 (2017) and which will impose a fair amount of administrative work on the local government entities. The bill, if made law, would require that each City or County, “establish a schedule of” fees for business licenses or permits or other regulatory fees, “along with timelines necessary  for processing applications and documentation required for such licenses, permits and fees.”

After the schedule is published, if the City or County does not meet a published deadline, then the fee associated with such deadline shall be reduced by 10 percent of the original fee for each ten days that the City or County fails to meet the published deadline.

The bill also requires the City or County to establish an expedited licensing and  priority processing procedure, but allows the City or County to double the fee for such expedited licensing.

The City or County also has to do an annual review of the personal information that it collects and determine whether it can get the same information from other agencies.

Obviously, SB2 if it passes, will require a large amount of administrative work by the City or County to meet the requirements. The City or County would have to be sure that it determines all types of licensing and permitting done by the City or County [occupational tax licenses; alcohol licenses; building permits; sign permits; water and sewer tap fees; impact fees; yard sale permits; peddler licenses; land disturbing permits; parade permits; subdivision requirements and licensing; zoning applications; background checks etc.]. The schedule of all the licensing and permits would need to be reviewed to be sure that we cover all the licensing and regulatory activities that the City or County does. The City or County would then need to also establish on the schedule, the timelines and deadlines for the permitting or licensing [think for example of trying to concisely describe the rezoning process].

So first you would need to figure out a list of all of our current licensing, permitting and regulatory activities. You would then have to describe the procedural timeline and deadlines for each regulatory activity. You would then have to evaluate whether you need to build in some “buffer” time into the timeline/deadlines, in order to be sure that you did not incur the 10% penalty. Also a factor in the evaluation of your regulatory processing, is the requirement that you also have expedited processing. I think that you would have to start with the expedited processing as your minimum timeline/deadline, and then from that create your “normal timeline/deadlines.”

So I think the SB will end up causing you to incur a fair amount of administrative work to create this schedule of all regulatory activity.

Later on in the bill, it requires DCA to rate each City or County on metrics established by DCA, as to how business friendly is each City or County. Obviously, this rating would bring public pressure on the City or County to try to streamline all of its regulatory processes.

I therefore recommend that you keep an eye on this SB, in that I suspect that it will be popular with the legislators in that they’ll perceive it as helping customers/citizens and that it is something that the Cities or Counties should have to do anyway. Please express concerns about the bill to your local legislative delegation. If the bill passes, then I’ll be glad to discuss how to create the schedule.

I’ll be glad to discuss. Thanks, R. David Syfan