What are User Fees?

To learn more about user fees in the County of Wellington, please watch the following video:

User fees and charges for the current year are as follows:

How User Fees are Charged

User fees are charged to individuals or groups for the provision of a programme or service.  These fees help to offset the costs associated with operating programmes and services for the County.  The County User Fee Policy provides a framework for determining the fees to be charged.  User fees will be set to recover the full cost of providing the applicable service, except where Council has approved a subsidy or exemption; where services are based on competition in the open market; and where fee amounts are legislated by the Province.

The County of Wellington will collect user fees to recover the full cost of services where it is determined that a service, product, or the use of County facilities or resources provide direct benefits to identifiable individuals, groups of individuals or businesses, beyond those that accrue to the general public.

Services delivered by government are generally classified into the following three categories:

  1. Public Service: Benefits the general public; it is impossible or undesirable to exclude someone from using or enjoying the benefits provided by the service.
  2. Private Service: Benefits specific individuals, groups or businesses; it is possible to prevent someone from using the service.
  3. Mixed Service: Benefits the general public as well as the specific individual, group or business using the service, such as provision of library services.

Where it is determined that a service or activity provided by the County confers a direct benefit on individuals, identifiable groups or businesses, a user fee will be set to recover the cost of providing the service.

The chart below represents a decision matrix which should help in determining whether a service should be funded by user fees, property tax revenues, or a combination of user fees and property tax revenues.