Mayor: License fees haven’t changed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Despite changes in the way business license fees are collected, no fees have been increased, Mayor Earl Johnson said Tuesday.

The mayor addressed the issue at this week’s city council meeting after hearing complaints about the process.

The council recently agreed to contract with RDS for the collection of business license fees. RDS also collects sales taxes for the city.

City Clerk John Thompson said the change was made because RDS could accommodate online purchases, which the city thought would be of benefit to local businesses, and because changing means approximately $50,000 in annual savings for the city.

“No additional fees are being charged,” Johnson said. “The business license fees are based on a schedule adopted in 1987.”

“Our fees are comparable to other cities through the state,” he said.

He said some business licenses, like those of retail establishments, are based on gross receipts.

“The fee may go up based on an increase in gross receipts, but the percentages (charged) have not changed,” he said.

Because of the change, the city extended the deadline for renewals until the end of February.