This might or might not apply to folks on this discussion list.  I know that the article implies that the County has found ways to save money, and that those of you who applied for permits in 2004.  Can we believe the spin on this?  Has King County ever rebated anything it wasn't forced to?
Could this more likely be that someone was found to have too many hands too deep in the cookie jar?  Does anyone here know more about the reasons behind the County's apparent largesse?
Inquiring minds want to know...

Some permit fees to be rebated

By: Staff March 24, 2005
King County is rolling back some building permit fees and rebating $2 million to more than 6,000 customers as a result of new efficiencies and an unexpectedly high volume of permit applications. 
Building industry leaders say the fee reduction and the county's new way of doing business will take the pressure off increasing home prices in King County.

People who bought permits for projects ranging from a simple remodel to a large commercial development in 2004 will get refund checks early next year. Some fees will be rolled back to 2003 levels.
Continued historically low interest rates and demand for custom, single-family homes were among factors causing high demand for building permits in 2004. The high volume of permit applications came at a time DDES was seeing the benefits of a new business approach to processing building permits and doing other agency work.
DDES has undergone a rigorous revamping of processes based on recommendations of a task force and building industry roundtable. System changes are resulting in shorter review time for permits and lower costs to applicants.
Permit fees are based on the value of the project and are being refunded by check in the first half of 2005. The refunds are fairly evenly split between individuals and developers. The average permit refunds are:
To date, King County DDES has processed about 7,000 building and land-use permits. DDES predicts that up to 7,500 permits will be handled by the end of the year.
For information, contact Paula Adams, DDES communications director, at (206) 296-6682.