It'll cost less to get married in Orange County but more to have those nasty liens filed against your property under a proposal approved by county supervisors Tuesday.
Officials approved lowering of an array of fees, from lien notices and legal notices to fictitious business licenses, though some also increased. Clerk-Recorder Gary L. Granville recommended the fee reductions in view of a study that found that processing costs have diminished.
More fee reductions are planned, he said.
Also proposed is a plan for a moratorium on special fees the county collects that have gone into an "enhancement fund," for the clerk-recorder's office. These fees, which include recording of real estate sales when property changes hands, have produced a $15.3-million surplus.
Granville said the county's fee structure was not initiated to earn a profit from residents but to recover costs of processing the files.
"What I'm proposing in terms of a moratorium, is avoid what I feel is an unwarranted and unjustified taking of money from the public," Granville said.
The moratorium plan is expected to be heard by supervisors at next week's April 11 meeting.
If supervisors approve the plan, the surplus could last for at least seven years until it is "spent down," Granville said.
In the past, Granville has suggested that his office be merged with another department, possibly the assessor's office, as another way to reduce costs and provide greater efficiency.
In a related matter, supervisors also approved spending $504,986 for new computers and software to improve storage of files in the Clerk-Recorder's office.
The computers are expected to be purchased in four to five months. Once on line, they will allow county residents to view property and vital records via the Internet.
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Downs and Ups
County officials approved the lowering of an array of fees Tuesday because the recorder's office has reduced costs through computerization of its system. But some costs are up.
Fee Old Cost New Cost Marriage License $66.50 $61.50 Confidential Marriage License $71.25 $66.25 Fictitious Business Name Filing, Abandonment or Withdrawal $31.00 $23.00 Marriage Ceremony $31.00 $28.00 Fictitious Business Name Search $6.00 $7.00 Involuntary Lien Notice $8.00 $10.00 20-Day Preliminary Notice $63.00 $72.00 Environmental Impact Report Filing $38.00 $43.00