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Fees to increase slightly

Costs for park services and some business licenses may rise

Posted: May 28, 2012 2:55 a.m.
Updated: May 28, 2012 2:55 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita residents using parks, recreation and community services will see slight increases in their fees, and some Santa Clarita businesses may see increases to their business license fees within the next year as the city adjusts user fees to cost of services.

The Santa Clarita City Council approved changes to different fees last week - including the amount paid for renting city facilities; participating in parks, recreation and community service programs; and developers fees - to keep pace with changes in the Consumer Price Index in Southern California.

Fees adjusted for the CPI will go up by 2.2 percent July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year. Developer fees will increase Sept. 1, and aquatics fees will increase Jan. 1, 2013.

"The reason for (the fees rising) is to ensure that the cost of providing those services is recovered by the fee," said Deputy City Manager Darren Hernandez. "We need to make sure that those individuals using those services are paying their full share.

"We want to make sure those services are not being subsidized by the taxpayers."

In addition to the parks and recreation service fees, some businesses within the city will also see increases to their business license fees.

The city sets the rate for the business fees, the county collects the fee, and the city is charged for the service as the county administers the business license program on the city's behalf, Hernandez said.

While the county had increased fees for certain businesses - such as gas stations, tattoo parlors and adult bookstores - the city was not charging the full amount of the changes to business owners, Hernandez said.

Instead, the city has been phasing in the increased fees for the past two years, rather than charging the difference all at once.

After the fees increase for those businesses this year, the amount business owners pay the city will equal the amount the county charges for the licenses, Hernandez said.

This means that the city will no longer be subsidizing costs at the taxpayer's expense.

The other fees that the City Council approved Tuesday were parking citation fees - which stayed at the same level as last fiscal year - and stormwater pollution prevention fees - which will also stay at the same level as last fiscal year.

kjonas@the-signal.com

661-287-5517

 

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