You might want to research how many jurisdictions are cutting their permit fees. We're one of them, in fact the council has considered that we don't charge any fee's for new business that comes to town or any new TI's. Well that's a great idea, why don't we then have the local taxpayers pay for you to open a new business in town or for that matter other businesses would be helping pay for your new enterprise. Oh why you ask? Because building and safety is supposed to be a self sustaining department, everything from our salaries to our supplies are supposed to be paid out of those fees and not the general fund which is tax based.Well, you asked for it.
If the days of 150/hr for a service call are gone, why aren't the days of 4 trillion government budget gone? We're all expected to tighten our belts except our government. NO, our government needs MORE, and MORE, and MORE money. I don't see my fees dropping. Everything cost more nowadays, and what the government takes it's not small change. No offense, but (coming from a "public employee"), sounds like you're advising us to "eat cake".
I mean all forms of government have an easy solution:"RAISE TAXES, RAISE FEES". But we're supposed to just pay more and charge less.
Let's see, house remodel, electrical +/- 15K, around thousand dollar for the electrical permit. That's for...let's say 1-2 hrs clerical, 3 hrs for 3 inspections(rough, service, final) and 2-3 hrs plan review(took me 4 hrs to do the drawings, can't be more than 2-3 hrs to do plan review). So, a thousand dollars for 6-8 hrs: 125-155/hr.
But hey, it's ok for the government to charge 120-150 an hr, we're just supposed to eat cake.