Cost Accounting in Local Government

Mandatory Approval of Accessory Dwelling Units

In July I wrote about the State Legislature requiring easier paths to increasing residential Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) construction (SB 1069).  This action is no doubt a massive intrusion into local planning and is rife with problems, but it’s too late to debate those points. Now it’s time to deal with them and try to […]

Next Steps After a Fee Update

What should a City do after completing a Fee Study and before the next Fee Study

Fee Increases in Between Cost Studies

When I first started doing Cost Studies, cities were unlikely to know the cost of their services let alone charge what the services cost. The most common approach, when fee increases were considered necessary, was to compare the city’s fees with neighboring cities, which I called the “blind leading the blind” update. Later, as cost […]

Accessory Dwelling Units

Many of you have been wrestling with integrating the recently passed State legislation (AB 2299 and SB 1069) that requires most cities to accommodate second dwelling units, referred to as “accessory dwelling units,” within your development rules and regulations. Regardless of your own city ordinances on the issue, the new state law is probably more […]

Are Credit Card Processing Fees for You?

For many years the credit card industry vigorously fought against any effort to charge a processing fee to use a credit card.  Credit card companies fought the same battles against processing fees charged by government as they did against private businesses.  But as more and more government agencies started accepting credit cards for payment for […]

Available versus Billable Hours – Redux

Nine years ago, I wrote the following article. Since the concepts are just as relevant today, I’m reprinting it with some editorial changes to make it more current. Enjoy… On page 31 of the League of California Cities publication “Cost Accounting for California Cities (1981),” we (I was one of the authors) proposed an early […]

Two Not-So-Scary DIF Collection Requirements

Description and discussion of the reporting requirements of Development Impact Fees.

What is required to set fees?

It is generally understood that you need a resolution at a public hearing to set fees.  But is that correct?  It turns out that is not entirely true. For development-related fees, Government Code Section 66016 and following sections make it clear that you do need a public hearing.  In addition, this code section has the […]

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