Biloxi discusses waiving building permit fees for Nate recovery

Biloxi discusses waiving building permit fees for Nate recovery
Deming believes that giving businesses a break will be worth it in the end. (Photo source: WLOX)
Deming believes that giving businesses a break will be worth it in the end. (Photo source: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi officials are debating whether or not to waive building permit fees for post-Hurricane Nate recovery efforts.

The council is proposing a waiver of building permit fees for homeowners and individual businesses. It may be a new move for council president Paul Tisdale, causing him to look at the proposals with caution.

"I prefer that we be consistent and also consider the implications in terms of the revenue that may be lost to the city," said Tisdale.

The fees pay for the work of city inspectors. City spokesman Vincent Creel notes that there is a significant difference between residential and commercial damage.

"You're talking about tens of thousands of dollars at most on residential costs. On the commercial side, you're talking about millions of dollars and that is a significant amount of money that the city would be losing," said Creel.

The resolution for the commercial side is being made by councilman Robert Deming. He argues that there really is no a loss of expected revenue, considering revenue from building inspections at damage sites was not anticipated in the budget.

Deming believes that giving businesses a break will be worth it in the end.

"We have to counter it with how much revenue it will increase by having these businesses back open, or giving them that money to hire another employee or expand the business," he said.

He hopes to help businesses come back after the storm. Deming states there shouldn't have to be a precedent in place to make that happen.

"Right now, the way we should do this is look at what impact it's going to have on our community and our economy," he said.

This issue will be discussed at Tuesday's council meeting.

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