Photo from Pixabay.
Photo from Pixabay.

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved hiking fees charged by the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health for permits to sell food, operate tattoo parlors, store waste and conduct other activities that require the county’s stamp of approval.

The board unanimously authorized Environmental Health Director Steve Van Stockum to raise permit fees by 2 percent, approximating an increase in the region’s consumer price index last year.

“The new … fees will produce sufficient revenue to support the proposed costs of providing services in the upcoming fiscal year for which (the) required fees are being charged,” Van Stockum said in a statement posted to the board’s policy agenda.

A county ordinance passed in 2014 authorizes the department to modify fees to keep up with inflation.

Environmental health officials anticipate the agency will be saddled with heftier expenses in 2018-19, due mainly to greater internal service charges, as well as higher labor expenses stemming from union contracts, pension obligations and insurance payments. The fee hikes will net about $560,000 in additional revenue.

Under the new fee schedule, obtaining a permit to operate a restaurant containing up to 2,000 square feet in floor space will cost $734 annually, compared to $720 now; a catering permit will go from $517 to $527; a produce stand permit will increase from $367 to $374; a vending machine permit will go from $74 to $75; a public swimming pool permit from $399 to $406; a septic tank truck permit from $341 to $347; a solid waste storage facility permit from $4,037 to $4,117; and a body art facility permit from $241 to $245.

Van Stockum said businesses “will be moderately impacted” by the higher fees.

–City News Service

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