Starting October 1, businesses in Oklahoma that are required to have a permit to operate, including restaurants, hotels, public pools and x-ray facilities, will have to pay higher fees.
Initial fees for restaurants are now $425 while some categories – nonprofit, state run or health facilities – pay $175 initially. Initial fees for seasonal establishments have risen to $250 (180 days) and $100 (3 days). Initial fees for over-the-counter drug wholesalers, brokers and manufacturers are now $375. Hotels/motels (under 20 units) must pay $300, (under 100 units) $350 and (over 100 units) $400 initially.
There is also a higher fee schedule for public bath houses, x-ray machines and application fees.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) has worked with the Oklahoma Food Service Advisory Council for nearly a year to develop these increases. These fee changes will bring Oklahoma closer to the regional average price for licenses. Fees for new food, drug and lodging facilities in surrounding states can range from below $100 to nearly $2,000. Oklahoma has not seen an increase in these fees since 2009 when they were raised $100.
The proposed changes went through a public comment period in October and November 2016. They were then presented to the Oklahoma State Board of Health in February 2017 and eventually sent to the legislature. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin approved the fee changes in June 2017 to be effective Oct. 1, 2017. The fees that have been changed are initial licensing fees, plan review fees, renewal fees, and late renewal fees.
The inspections look for overall cleanliness, ensure food is being handled properly and protect the overall health of the public. Part of the changes to the fees was to simplify the licensing of X-ray tubes in dental, veterinarian and other facilities. The old fees were confusing to many licensees and proved to be unnecessarily complicated. Some facilities will see little to no change in fees, while others might see a slight increase.
For a complete list of the fees and more information about the Consumer Health Service, visit chs.health.ok.gov.