2020 Fee Changes

Construction cranes in Seattle.The Seattle City Council recently adopted the 2020 budget, including legislation that implements SDCI fee changes in 2020 to cover wage increases that reflect our current cost of doing business.

On January 1, 2020, these service fees went into effect. As in past years, we are making inflationary adjustments to most fees. This year’s inflationary adjustment is 4.0 percent. As an example, our Base Hourly fee will increase from $222 to $231.

In addition to our standard inflationary adjustment, SDCI will be making further adjustments to building permit fees, and the land use hourly rate.

Starting in 2020, the minimum fee in the D-1 table will align with the SDCI base rate; for 2020 this will increase from $216 to $231. Additionally, the Building Valuation Data (BVD) table we typically implement on the first of the year will be incorporating an increase of roughly 2% for 2020.

SDCI has been catching up the Land Use Hourly rate to inflation since 2016, after not adjusting this rate from 2000-2015. In 2019, City Council proposed completing this catch up, and increased the Land Use hourly rate from $386 in 2019 to $394 in 2020.

Electrical and refrigeration permits will not see any fee increases for 2020, as the current rates are sufficient for covering current costs.

Finally, SDCI is making several technical changes to clarify or simplify existing fees that are not expected to increase fee revenues. These include modifications to electrical, mechanical, refrigeration, and blanket permit fees, along with adding authorization to charge for certain floodplain reviews, zoning coaching appointments, and change fees for furnace, refrigeration and boiler installations.

New Director’s Rules, the BVD table and other fee-related information are available on our website at www.seattle.gov/sdci.