Development Services (DS) operates as a one-stop permit center. Permit fees for new construction projects typically fall into three categories.

  1. Building permit fees and building plan review fees
    Examples: Building, plumbing, electrical, mechanical, life-safety, excavation
    Source: These fees pay for services including inspection, plan review, and building department administration provided by DS. Development Services is supported almost entirely by fees for building plan reviews and building permits.
    More Information: Municipal Code Chapter 8.03

  2. Systems Development Charges (SDC's) and fees from other departments
    Examples: Streets, storm, sewer, water, parks, fire department fees
    Source: These fees are collected by DS for other departments such as public works, parks and fire.
    More Information: System Development Charges

  3. External fees
    Examples: School Tax, State Surcharges
    Source: These fees are required by state law. DS collects and passes along to external entities like the Corvallis School District and the State Building Codes Division.
    More Information: School District 509J Construction Excise Tax and Claim for Exemption, State of Oregon Permit Surcharge
Other Fees
There are fees for specialty services such as deferred submittals, phased development, temporary occupancy, and others. For a complete list of these specialty services and any related fees, please see our Services page.

The majority of fees are collected at two points.
  1. Permit Application - Plan review fees are due at the time of permit application.
  2. Permit Issuance - Permit fees, SDCs, other department fees, and external fees are due at the time of permit issuance.
Fee Methods
Fees are typically based on the "valuation" of proposed construction, or number of fixtures, or a combination of both. The building permit fee methodology is set by the State Building Codes Division and is the same methodology used throughout Oregon. Actual valuation for each project can be difficult to determine; consequently, the State mandates that jurisdictions must use the higher of either written bid documents, or valuation data from the International Code Council (ICC). The ICC valuation table is adjusted annually on April 1 as required by Oregon Administrative Rule. While the fee methodology is set by the state, the fee rates are set locally.

How much do permits cost?
  1. Building permit fees and building plan review fees typically cost between 1% and 2% of the overall cost of a project.
  2. SDC's and other department fees depend entirely on the size, number of fixtures, and scope of the project. See the chart below for an example of a fee package for a new home and see our SDC page for additional information.
  3. External fees - The school tax typically runs $1 per sq ft for residential, and $0.50 per sq ft for commercial. Commercial has a maximum cap of $25,000. State Building Codes Division surcharges are 12% of all building permit fees.
More Information: Fee Rates for Corvallis - Municipal Code Chapter 8.03

Based on recent surveys, rates in Corvallis are comparable to other jurisdictions: Building Permits, SDC Fees.

How can I get an estimate?
Estimates can be obtained through an online fee estimate calculator available for download in Excel. These calculators will give ballpark amounts. If you need an accurate formal estimate, contact a Permit Technician.


As a rule of thumb, refunds can be granted for DS fees if DS has not performed the work. For example, when a project is reviewed and permit issued, then later the project is abandoned with no construction having taken place, the plan review fee cannot be refunded because the plan reviews were completed and permit issued. The building permit fees can be refunded up to a percentage because no construction work started. For additional information on refunds and refund requests, please see DS policy POL 1011 and procedure PRO 3056. Refunds for external fees can only be initiated with the external agency such as the state or school district, as DS does not retain these funds.

Need more information about specific permits?

Visit our Permits page.

Below is an example of charges for a new home permit constructed in 2012.

Pie Chart with breakdown of fees
Last updated: 4/27/2017 11:19:56 AM