Army Corps announces administrative fee changes

When residents on some of  Georgia’s most popular lakes opened their mailboxes last month, they were surprised to learn their dock fees would be increasing up to 377%. 

Beginning January 1, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Atlantic Division, will implement a revised administrative fee schedule resulting in a total cost of $835 for a dock and land based facilities at its reservoirs and along certain federal waterways in the Southeastern United States. The administrative fee will cover costs the Corps incurs for the issuance or re-issuance of these licenses. Such activities are generally in connection with private use of fee owned public lands by landowners adjacent to the reservoirs such as dock anchorage, lighting, walkways, and steps to improve access to permitted boat docks and similar facilities. There will no longer be a fee charged for fair market value of the licensed items, just the fee associated with administration of the license.

The new fee will apply to Lake Seminole and the following reservoirs and waterways: Okeechobee Waterway, FL.; Allatoona Lake and Lake Sidney Lanier, GA; Walter F. George Lake and West Point Lake on the Georgia-Alabama border; Hartwell Lake and J. Strom Thurmond Lake on the Georgia-South Carolina border; Philpott Lake, VA; W. Kerr Scott Lake, NC; and John H. Kerr Lake on the North Carolina-Virginia border.

Shoreline Management

Title 10 United States Code (USC) 2695 authorizes the collection of administrative expenses for certain real estate transactions. This authority allows administrative fees to be collected and credited as a reimbursement to the appropriation from which the expense is incurred. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) reservoirs within the South Atlantic Division (SAD) began assessing administrative fees to cover administrative expenses for issuing licenses authorizing facilities and activities associated with the Shoreline Management Program in 2006.  Shoreline Use Permit fees of $35 and fair market value fees (rent) have been collected since 1974. With Implementation of Division Regulation SADR 1130-1-15 dated 1 December 2015, Shoreline Management at South Atlantic Division Civil Works Projects, all new permits and licenses issued on or after 1 January 2016 are issued as separate documents; a permit for floating facilities and a real estate license to authorize certain land-based activities on Federal lands.

What:  Revised fee schedule for real estate license administrative fees.

Total cost to individuals is $835. The costs include a $35 fee for a Shoreline Permit (under 36 CFR § 327.31) and an $800 administrative fee for the Real Estate License.

This is the first fee increase since 2006.  Although the fee must be made in a single payment at the beginning of the process, the payment equates to a cost of $13.92/month or $167/year to the permit/license holders over the five-year term of the instruments.  The fair market value fee will no longer be charged. These fees generally ranged from $20-$67 for each land based facility. Any modification request will result in issuance of a new permit/license at the full fee of $835.

Why: The increase in administrative fee reflects increased costs incurred by the government over the initial 2006 rate.

Allows projects to meet acceptable levels of customer service and regulatory compliance to ensure good stewardship of public lands. Allows for investment in automated tools to improve timely and efficient license issuance and database maintenance consistently within the region.

Implementation of this administrative fee increase ensures that the individual benefiting from the use of public property bears the cost incurred by the government for issuing these instruments.

When:  Revised fee schedule goes into effect on 1 January 2020. The fee schedule will be implemented as below:

New License Holders  A new license holder is defined to be an applicant that is requesting a real estate license for private facilities on government property where a real estate license or consolidated permit/license does not currently exist, or is requesting a change of ownership on an existing license.

If the Corps receives all paperwork and payment from an applicant for a new license before close of business on December 31, 2019, the application will be processed under the current fee schedule.  All applications for a new license received on or after January 1, 2020 will be processed under the new fee schedule.

Existing License Holders  An existing license holder is defined to be an applicant that currently holds a real estate license or a consolidated permit/license for private facilities on government property and would be requesting to modify or renew their current license. The procedures provided at https://www.sad.usace.army.mil/ShorelineManagement are applicable until the new fee schedule goes into effect on 1 January, 2020:

The public can get more information by visiting the Corps Shoreline Management webpage at www.sad.usace.army.mil/ShorelineManagement or contacting their local Corps project office.

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