2015 Top 25
Winners:
City of Tallahassee, FL
2015
Publication:
Innovations in American Government Awards
Jurisdiction:
Florida

Tallahassee’s Growth Management Department is one of the first governmental bodies to launch a money-back guarantee program for building permits. The program was started in October 2012 after Tallahassee’s city manager and city commissioners sought innovative ways to make the city more business- and customer-friendly by creating incentives for local development without compromising environmental, planning, or public safety standards. The program was designed to address the development community’s concerns that Tallahassee needed to be more business-friendly as well as problems developers and homeowners had with uncertain development review and permitting timelines. The Residential Money Back Guarantee Program, which was originally implemented as a one-year pilot program, guarantees a seven-day (business days), on-time review for initial building permit applications or all monies will be refunded. For resubmittals, the program guarantees a five-business-day review. The program applies to new one- and two-family building permit applications.