Business license will cost $5, will go into effect in 2010
By JESSICA CRAWFORD • Daily Leader
At the previous city commission meeting on Feb. 10, the commission ultimately shot down an ordinance to establish a system for general issuance of a business license. The general consensus from commissioners was the ordinance was not pro-business. City manager Mark Hall and city attorney Shirla McQueen revamped the wording of the ordinance for Tuesday evening’s commission meeting making it much more business friendly.
The previously proposed ordinance stated extensive punishments, such as a fine of $500 per day or up to 30 days in jail, could be imposed for not renewing or obtaining a business license. Vice Mayor Doug LaFreniere found the wording to be entirely too harsh, he said.
“You want to stay pro-business and you don’t want to create a hurdle that really just knocks an entrepreneur down out of his seat here,”
he said at the Feb. 10 meeting. “Thirty days in jail for operating without one and a $500 a day fine?”
LaFreniere asked how long it could possibly take for inspections and code enforcement to be completed in order to issue a business license. Zoning administrator Steve Guerrero answered, “approximately two weeks.”
Mark Hall explained the ordinance will ensure businesses will be paying taxes, are up to code and in the correct zoning area.
The wording of the new ordinance was changed from the previous draft.
For the initial offense, the business in question will be fined $50.
The second offense will require a fine of not less than $100. Upon the third offense, the business will be fined no less than $250 and no more than $500. There is no reference to jail time in the redrafted ordinance.
“I think we can try this and if we have a problem we can modify it,”
commissioner Larry Koochel said of the ordinance.
Commissioner Don Rash pointed out that the ordinance does not take place until 2010.
Mark Hall stated before the ordinance goes into effect the city will have time to “get ahead of the curve” by making sure businesses have purchased the $5 license.
The commission voted unanimously to move the ordinance on to a second reading.