PANAMA CITY Fla. - Right after Hurricane Michael hit the area, permits, inspections, and fees were waived for emergency purposes in the unincorporated Bay County area for about 7 to 10 days. According to Bob Majka, the Bay County manager, this was done to help restore power. "We waived the requirement for a permit and an inspection if facilities were capable of receiving power that did not have any damage."
Some cities in the area are also waiving fees, but only for a limited time. Panama City agreed to waive permit fees for 30 days after the hurricane hit. Those 30 days will be expiring soon, and contractors say now is the time when they would need them.
"Now that we're getting to a point when insurance companies are starting to release checks, getting ready for the re-build process. That's when it's really important to have an effect on the permitting process," explained Jeremy Neel, Apex Disaster Specialist owner.
Majka said if Bay County continued to waive fees, it is possible the tax payer would pay for it. "Any dollar that we waive now, has to be replaced in some form or fashion later, so if we don't bring the revenue in through permit fees, uh shift that cost off on the property tax and then have all of the property tax payers make up for it."
Which is something the county does not want to do so they are back to charging fees. According to Neel different way to cover those costs is to claim them with your insurance. "But it's just important to know that you need to have a paid for receipt, keep all your documentation, and turn it into your insurance adjuster for reimbursement."
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