Some County Fees Going Up

Health Department, Recorder of Deeds raising service costs

The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a raft of fee increases for both the county's health department and its deed recording office. In the latter case, the increased fees will most people developing or transferring property within the county.

The increased fees are a function of the need to increase the revenue of the county's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which was established in 1993 to fund various affordable housing-related projects around the county.

In a letter to the board, Recorder of Deeds Nancy Becker told the commissioners that the fees supporting the fund hadn't changed in nearly 20 years.

The Affordable Housing Trust Fund base fee for filing a deed or mortgage with the office will increase to $26. Fees for returned documents, recording subdivision plans, and other administrative tasks are also increasing.

"Our goal is actually not to make that much more money from this," said county chief financial officer Uri Monson. "All the Affordable Housing Trust [money] doesn't go to the county, it goes to the fund."

The Health Department fees are increasing as the result of a review that found the county's fees to be outdated or out of line with comparable fees in surrounding counties, Monson said.

Many of the increased health fees will affect development, such as water quality management fees for sewage system permits and site evaluations.

Other will affect establishments such as restaurants, grocery stores, and food trucks. Some of the increases are nominal, such as a $5.00 increase for retail food stores of less than 1,500 square feet. Other establishments, such as sit-down dining businesses with 49 or fewer seats, will see hikes of as much as 40 percent (from $210 to $295).

The new Recorder of Deeds fees will go into effect in 2013. The new Health Department fees will take effect before the end of the year.

Steven Long October 05, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Why does Democrats insist upon taxing one group of people (transferring Real Estate), for the sole purpose of funding another project? Robbing Peter to pay Paul? Why not let users fees take care of most situations ... in essence ... if you need something accomplished ... be prepared to pay the actual cost (do not expect someone else to pay for you). This is akin to taking PA Turnpike money to fund SEPTA. It's bad enough the Turnpike raises fees 50% and 100% (much more than actual cost of operation), but when those costs do not go to Turnpike maintenance ... it's absurd. Even worse ... those who use the Turnpike must pay for the Turnpike, as well as SEPTA ... when they do not use SEPTA. SEPTA should be self-sufficient. County services are no different!
Mike October 05, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Why am I or anyone else paying for affordable housing. I am 55 and I have 2 jobs all my life. That is my solution to my housing issue. Let me tell you what affordable housing does for a county. It lowers the value of all the properties in the county. Therfore lowering the amount of money a county takes in in real estate taxs. It also gives lower income people a reason to cement themselves into Montgoery County. Do away with the program and they will flee to counties that have the program.
Kathleen Hoynes October 05, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Affordable housing does not equal badly cared for property. I does, however help many senior citizens,the disabled, and families, who may not be able to attain a home any other way. Counties have strict rules on the types of housing to be built in a certain area, and I think it's wonderful that the community at large is aiming for affordable housing.
Lee November 29, 2012 at 04:04 AM
If you own property, you are privileged and will be fine. They're progressive. Google Build One PA.
Lee November 29, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Google Build One PA or First Suburbs for info. This area is a high opportunity according to planners. Not sure why, but heard that at a lecture.


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