DISCLAIMER

06-059-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTIONS 2-16 AND 31-6 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED, PERTAINING TO FEES AND CHARGES.

BY COUNCILOR STEWART:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 2-16 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 2-16. Special or nonroutine services by city departments; fees.

     (a)  Any city department that furnishes special or nonroutine services to any person or organization, other than services which it is required by law to perform without fee, may charge the person or organization requesting such services a fee as set by council resolution for that type of service, but not to exceed the cost of performing such services. No fee shall be charged unless the amount, regardless of how it is calculated or determined, is authorized by council resolution;

     (b)  Each year, on or before November 1, the clerk shall prepare and present to the council a resolution setting out recommended changes in the amount to be charged for the various city fees. Changed fees shall be calculated by changing the existing fee in the same proportion as the proportional change in the implicit price deflator for gross domestic product, government consumption expenditures and gross investment, state and local, during the 12 months prior to August 1 of the previous year. The implicit price deflators for gross domestic product, government expenditures, state and local, is produced and published by the U.S. department of commerce, bureau of economic analysis, or its successor. The following are excepted from the application of the implicit price deflator:

           (1)  A rate increase that would amount to less than $1;

           (2)  Fees that are tied to another index, such as uniform building codes, a state index or federal law;

           (3)  Fees for events, attractions, or recreation opportunities (for example, golf rates are adjusted annually based on business goals, rates of surrounding courses or other factors. Additionally, these rates are reviewed and approved by boards and commissions before they go to the city council);

           (4)  Fees and charges associated with the public utilities;

           (5)  Any other fee that the council elects to determine by a different method.

     The fee amount for the excepted fees shall be determined by the council by resolution.

     Section 2. That Section 31-6 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, be amended to read as follows:

Sec. 31-6. Fees for issuance of license.

     (a)  The fees for all licenses and permits issued pursuant to this Code shall be set by city council resolution and shall be based on the city’s cost of regulating the activity for which the license or permit is issued. At least biannually, the city council or appropriate committee of the city council shall conduct a hearing to consider the adjustment of all license fees to reflect changes in administrative and enforcement costs in accordance with appropriate economic indicators as determined by the city council or committee. Each year, on or before November 1, the clerk shall prepare and present to the council a resolution setting out recommended changes in the amount to be charged for the fees. Changed fees shall be calculated by changing the existing fee in the same proportion as the proportional change in the implicit price deflator for gross domestic product, government consumption expenditures and gross investment, state and local, during the 12 months prior to August 1 of the previous year. The implicit price deflators for gross domestic product, government expenditures, state and local, is produced and published by the U.S. department of commerce, bureau of economic analysis, or its successor. The following are excepted from the application of the implicit price deflator:

           (1)  A rate increase that would amount to less than $1;

           (2)  Fees that are tied to another index, such as uniform building codes, a state index or federal law;

           (3)  Fees for events, attractions, or recreation opportunities (for example, golf rates are adjusted annually based on business goals, rates of surrounding courses or other factors. Additionally, these rates are reviewed and approved by boards and commissions before they go to the city council);

           (4)  Fees and charges associated with the public utilities;

           (5)  Any other fee that the council elects to determine by a different method.

     The fee amount for the excepted fees shall be determined by the council by resolution.

     The city clerk shall maintain copies of a schedule of current city license fees for distribution to the general public and shall, if feasible, maintain a schedule of city license fees on the internet for public inspection;

     (b)  If the license is not issued for any reason, the clerk shall refund license fees collected except the police investigation fee authorized in Subsection (c) below;

     (c)  The police department shall charge a fee, which shall be set in accordance with Section 31-6(a) of this Code, for performing a background investigation of any applicant for a license authorized by this Code or a state statute, except where such a fee is prohibited by law. The fee may be collected by either the police department or the city clerk.

     Section 3. That this ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage and publication.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance sets up a regular annual process for reviewing fees charged by the city and specifies a method to calculate the amount of changes in some fees. The council retains authority to set the amount of any fee.