Cost Accounting in Local Government

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Credit Card Processing Fees

Since there is a lot of interest in credit card processing and convenience fees recently, I thought this would be a great time to write an article and try to shed some light on what you are allowed to charge.  Well, it turns out that there is what the law says and there is what […]

Costing Recreation Services

As part of a Cost of Services Study we are usually asked to provide the full cost of Recreation services and then make recommendations to adjust these fees.  But, as there is a direct connection between the costs and the resulting fees for most other departments in a city, identifying the full costs of Recreation […]

Comprehensive or Targeted Fee Study

There are two different approaches to doing a Fee Study.  You can either do a comprehensive study that involves the entire organization or do a more targeted approach that just reviews departments with a large amount of fee revenues.  There are pros and cons to each approach. Comprehensive Fee Study The main benefit of this […]

Government as a Business

Is the idea of Government operating like a business past its time?

Next Steps After a Fee Update

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

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 […]

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 […]

Charging a Utility Encroachment Permit

Every so often I’ll hear about Edison or the Gas Company telling a City that they cannot be charged an encroachment permit to plan check and inspect a street cut under the franchise agreement.  They will then hope that you blink and reduce or eliminate the fee. But recently, I was told that they cited […]

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