In Case Study, Cost Allocation Plans

NBS conducted a Full Cost Allocation Plan and Comprehensive Fee Study for the Town of Ross, a wealthy enclave in Marin County, California. A study of this nature had not been performed in quite some time; a fact that was known by Town staff and council, and was regarded as in need of urgent attention.

The acute problem was that a resident and retired judge filed a lawsuit against the Town after being assessed what he regarded as an excessive fee associated with a remodel project. “Remodels” in the Town had become multi-million dollar affairs in many cases, thus driving permit fees into the stratosphere. The foundational problem was, since the fees had not been updated in a very long time, the Town was using a valuation method on which to base fees. After examination, it was discovered that Town was collecting too much fee revenue for this very specific element of their building permit services.

By doing a thorough analysis of costs and the current fee structure, talking with staff and obtaining input from council, we were able to establish an equitable and less subjective baseline. We then provided guidance to staff as the project proceeded. In the end, the new fees were unanimously adopted by council, and staff was pleased with the results.

“We are in a very good position to move forward with our new fee schedule. Thank you for your diligence, perseverance, and patience. It is wonderful to have the fees adopted and moving forward.” * – Joe Chinn, Ross Town Manager

* This testimonial is not related to any municipal advisory services performed by NBS.


For more information, please contact: Nicole Kissam, Director – Financial Consulting Group at nkissam@nbsgov.com

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