MACo Defends Reasonable Charges for Complex GIS Data

MACo Legal & Policy Counsel Les Knapp presented testimony to the Environmental, Health and Education Committee this Wednesday, February 11 opposing SB94, State Government – Automated Mapping-Geographic Information Systems – System Services Costs. This bill would remove the ability for county governments to include a reasonable share of “overhead costs” when charging for certain geographic information systems (GIS) products, potentially rendering valuable systems unaffordable.

From the written testimony:

MACo has no issue with most of the bill’s proposed changes, which are based on the work of the Council for Open Data and remove restrictive or outmoded laws related to the provision of GIS information to the public. However, MACo is opposed to the removal of the ability to charge for the reasonable share of overhead costs. As the bill’s fiscal note indicates, the costs to counties that are able to currently budget and provide GIS services per the bill’s provisions would be minimal. Conversely, though, there could be a fiscal effect on counties that rely on the existing law to collect overhead costs.

For more on MACo’s 2015 legislation, visit the Legislative Database.