HB 3329 has been the leading subject of discussion and correspondence for building officials as a result of the 85th Texas Legislature. BOAT has monitored this and many bills these past few months. Our suggestion is for jurisdictions to consider the following recommendations but to also review any policy changes with their respective legal counsels. In addition, it is recommended that building officials provide an explanation and cost analysis of any option or options under consideration to their city manager
The following is a summary and recommended approach for permitting and registration for HB 3329.
A unified regional and state approach for enforcement is in our best interest.
Summary of HB 3329
The bill amends the Occupations Code by prohibiting a municipality or region from collecting a permit, registration, administrative, or any other fee from a licensed electrician. The bill allows a municipality or region to collect a building permit fee.
The bill takes effect September 1, 2017.
Permit Fees – Option
The general consensus appears to be that cities can still charge for electrical permits as “building permits” under code. The term “building permit,” as opposed to “electrical permit,” is subject to interpretation by each jurisdiction but a jurisdiction could change all the construction permit types to “building permits” with nomenclature, for example that could be:
· building permit (new single family residential) or (SFR)
· building permit (electrical) or (E)
· building permit (plumbing) or (P)
By changing the permit title, a city would be in conformance with subsection (f) of the bill because the municipality would be issuing a building permit and it is not prohibited from collecting a building permit fee from an electrician.
Our understanding is that TML’s attorney agrees that cities can still charge a permit fee.
Contractor Registration Fees – Option
· A municipality could register an electrical license free of charge verifying State license law requirements. A building permit fee for electrical work can offset administrative costs of enforcement verification.
H.B. No. 3329
relating to regulation of electricians by local governments.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Section 1305.201, Occupations Code, is amended by amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsection (f) to read as follows:
(a) This chapter does not prohibit a municipality or region from regulating electricians or residential appliance installers by:
(1) enacting an ordinance requiring inspections;
(2) offering examinations;
(3) issuing municipal or regional licenses; or
(4) collecting permit fees for municipal or regional licenses and examinations from [
electricians and] appliance installers for work performed in the municipality or region.
(f) A municipality or region may not collect a permit fee, registration fee, administrative fee, or any other fee from an electrician who holds a license issued under this chapter for work performed in the municipality or region. This subsection does not prohibit a municipality or region from collecting a building permit fee.
SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2017.