NFIB Argues Against Onerous Permit Fees


NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case Sheetz v. County of El Dorado, California at the United States Supreme Court. The case concerns whether the unconstitutional conditions doctrine applies to legislatively-imposed building permit exactions. NFIB joined The Buckeye Institute in filing the amicus brief.

“Small business property owners are aware of the various regulations and compliance issues associated with building permits and their property,” said Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “NFIB asks the Court to clarify that the unconstitutional conditions doctrine protects citizens from uncompensated takings, regardless of what branch of government makes them.”

In this case, a California property owner sought to build a manufactured house on his land and obtain the necessary permit. In exchange for the permit, the County imposed a monetary exaction over $23,000 in order to finance road improvements in the county. Because the exaction was authorized by legislation, lower courts held that it is not an unconstitutional condition. NFIB’s brief argues that the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause does not distinguish between unconstitutional conditions imposed by administrative personnel and those imposed by legislative bodies.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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