Council Blasts $1 Fee on Business Licenses

City council members pass the state-mandated fee Tuesday.

City Council members sharply criticized a state-mandated fee on businesses Tuesday before passing the $1 annual fee 4-1.

According to the city, the $1 annual fee imposed on business licenses aims to curb frivolous lawsuits against businesses to make them ADA compliant.

The fee is effective starting Jan.1 through Dec. 1, 2018.

The money will go toward raising awareness for building owners and tenants on Americans with Disabilities Act laws.

“I find it to be very discouraging,” Council Member Judy Nelson said. “At a time when we have businesses struggling to survive – forget about trying to flourish, but trying to survive – another tax is being opposed on them.”

While a $1 fee on businesses won’t harm businesses, Nelson said the fee continued a trend that encouraged taxing businesses and individuals to make up for state officials’ inability to responsibly balance the state’s budget.

While the council did not support the fee, members said they were faced with the choice of either taxing businesses or taking the money out of the city’s general fund.

The council passed the $1 fee on business licenses 4-1, with Mayor Pro Tem Joe Santoro voting no.

“The way the state is pushing out these taxes is just deplorable,” Santoro said.

Mikey's Mom December 16, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Thank you Joe for making a statement by voting No! And shame on you Ms. Nelson, if you felt that way you should have voted NO too. This isn't about a dollar, it's about doing what's right and standing uu, supporting, and being a voice of our community. If you are going to make a statement, then make a statement. This dollar won't curb frivious lawsuits. It will help to line the pockets of those who don't deserve it and should be taking a cut in pay for the inability to do their jobs.
Judy Nelson December 16, 2012 at 06:18 PM
The Council vote was not about whether the city would collect the business license fee. As Mayor Murabito clarified with the City Attorney, the state has mandated that the city remit the additional tax to the State of California. My vote was not a vote for the tax. Paying the money to the state is not optional! My vote was to determine whether the tax would be added to the business license fee or would be payed out of the city's General Fund. I voted "yes" which was to add the tax to the business license fee.The General Fund money comes from all of our tax paying citizens and the business license fee is paid just by the business owners.


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