ACAR Shares Concerns Regarding Summit County Fee Increases
In light of an article posted on Akron.com that was brought to our attention on February 13, 2018, ACAR has strong concerns regarding the necessity for the proposed fee increases from the Summit County Division of Building Standards. The Legislative Committee had previously reviewed a letter from Department Director Michael Weant and had no major objections. However, information in the Akron.com article has raised concerns as to the need for the fee increases. As such, ACAR submitted comments electronically to the Summit County Executive and Summit County Council.
You can read the letter from Department Director Michael Weant here or at the bottom of this post: http://www.akronclevelandrealtors.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/summitcountyletter.pdf
February 13, 2018
Summit County Council
Attn: Council President John Schmidt
175 S. Main Street, Suite 200
Akron, OH 44308
RE: Proposed Building Fee Increases contained in Chapter 1307 of the Codified Ordinances of the County (submitted electronically)
Dear Council President Schmidt,
On behalf of the Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS (ACAR), I would like to thank the Summit County Division of Building Standards for sharing the proposed fee structure increase with us.
Given our role in the real estate market throughout this region, there is no entity better equipped to discuss the need for government regulation when it comes to residential and commercial real estate than ACAR. Our agents collectively have thousands of years of experience in this arena. We have seen what works and, unfortunately, experienced actions that run counter to what is in the best interest of buyers, sellers and neighboring property owners.
ACAR believes that for municipal involvement to be effective and supportive, a government entity must consider certain components when assigning fees to various services, permits and the like. Specifically, ACAR stresses the government’s obligation to only charge an amount that is equal to the cost of performing the service, rather than padding its operating fund by burdening home and business owners and buyers with exorbitant fees. Like the numerous opinions that have been written across multiple journals and interpretations of fees, ACAR believes that the service must go to the benefit of the fee payer.
As you can imagine, we were certainly shocked to read in an article on Akron.com that Director Michael Weant said at a recent meeting of the Summit County Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee that, “a large portion” of the additional revenue from the fee would go into the county General Fund.”
Given this development, which was not disclosed in the packet of information received by ACAR, we have strong concerns regarding the necessity for the proposed fee increases. As such, we believe it is necessary for Council or the appropriate parties to further explain the need for the fee increase if it is not to cover services provided.
Thank you for your consideration and prompt attention to this matter. I can be reached directly at jmcmillen@AkronClevelandRealtors.com or (216) 525-4834.