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Many refer to these studies as (Comprehensive) User Fee Studies. We prefer the phrase “cost of services” as this focuses the process on identification of “costs” and leaves the choice of what to charge (i.e. “the fee”) to the political process. The costs don’t change unless staff is directed to change the processes used. The fee, however, can vary based on a number of factors such as: monies available, affected user group, and ease of fee collection.

RCS recommends conducting a comprehensive Cost of Services Study every 5-7 years, with simple updates in between, using our software recalculation, or changes to the consumer price index changes. Reasons why the cost of services may change over time include:

  • Staffing changes - Organization growth or right-sizing, department mergers or splitting or reclassification)

  • Changes in the law - New State laws or client municipal codes 

  • Cost of providing services - Exponentially increasing labor costs or contract expenses for various services

  • Change in client policies - New board member may desire higher cost recovery, or a department director streamlining service processes.


With these changes, our clients look to us for advice to keep their fees legally defensible, easy to calculate and collectible.

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