From 2001 to 2008 the value of commercial permits averaged about $100 million per year. Since 2009, the average has been bumping around $50 million.
At a recent city commission workshop, the budget director Robert Wigen, responded to a question from Commissioner Richardson about whether higher taxes had adversely affected city businesses by responding that he would like to be in the crane business in Tallahassee, implying that commercial building was booming. This comment brought a hearty laugh to all.
Mr. Wigen and commissioners, maybe you have not seen the chart below from the city-county planning department.
Often, we focus and are thankful for monthly, quarterly, or yearly upticks in building permits when they occur. However, we fail to discuss the bigger problem-that commercial permits, unadjusted for inflation, were higher 26 years ago in 1990, than in 2015. In 1990, commercial building (113) permits were valued at $55 million. Last year, the value was $51 million (for 40 permits).
When you adjust for inflation 1990 permits were valued in today’s dollars at $99 million. In 1990, there were only 126,000 people in Tallahassee. Today we have 188,000.
If you ask the builders, developers, and business related trades people, they will confirm what the chart says.