In a year when the COVID-19 pandemic economically challenged our community, the City of Asheville did not increase fees and charges for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 (which runs July to June). Also, in an effort to limit the financial impact of the pandemic, some fees were waived, and late charges were deferred.
This was done even though fees and charges comprise 35% of City-wide revenue and 10% of General Fund revenue.
For Fiscal Year 2021-2022 the City will move ahead with some modest fee changes, which City Council approved during their May 11 meeting. All fees are designed to recoup expenses for services rendered without having to rely on tax revenue.
With the new Fiscal Year 2021-2022 that begins July 1, Asheville water customers will see a slight increase, about $3 per month for most residential customers. Find information at this link. However, Sanitation and Stormwater fees will not be adjusted at this time, though staff recommends a midyear review in 2022.
There will be adjustments to parking garage, off-street lot parking and monthly on-street parking. On-street hourly parking fees will remain the same. Parking garage rate changes would become effective with the completion of the replacement of garage gating equipment which is anticipated to be June 1, and this will include a change in payment. The garages will no longer accept coins, though the automatic gatekeepers will still accept paper currency, credit and debit cards, though coins will still be accepted at on-street parking spots. The first hour of parking will be provided free for all hourly stays in the City’s four garages. Each additional hour will be charged at $2. While an increase from the current rate, this change will lower the charge for two hours of parking (from $2.50 to $2). For the full breakdown of parking fee changes, see the chart on page 21 at this link.
WNC Nature Center
WNC Nature Center admissions will go up by $2 for City residents ($9.95 adults, $8.95 seniors, $7.95 ages 3-12) and $3 for non-City residents ($ 13.95 adults, $12.95 seniors, $9.95 ages 3-12). Memberships are available. The proposed changes would generate additional revenue, but still fall below the national average.
Special Event Fee Discount
The City has historically offered a fee discount to events produced on public space by nonprofit organizations. The discount has been attached to the Strategic Event Partnership program and approved by Council resolution. Since the discount was approved by a Council resolution specific to that program, it was not included in the Fees & Charges Manual. The Strategic Event Partnership program expired at the end of 2019, and along with it, authorization for the discount. To continue offering the discount, staff recommended adding it to the Fees & Charges Manual. It would provide:
- 75% discount to state registered and federal 501c nonprofit organizations for outdoor special events that are open to the public and produced on public property; and
- Would apply to Property Use Fees and Permit Fees only. Find more information here.
Other fees and charges adjustments will apply to fire safety inspections, transit advertising, sidewalk fee-in-lieu payments and design and subdivision review in special review areas. Find the full rundown at this link.