The City Council decided this week to raise business license fees 20% over the next two years to pay the Chamber of Commerce to conduct promotion and economic development activities.

In neighboring Redondo Beach, that city's council abandoned a similar plan a month ago after businesses not belonging to the Redondo Beach chamber protested. In Lawndale, about 300 of the 500 business license holders do not belong to the Chamber of Commerce, according to chamber officials.

Lawndale's subsidy to the chamber will be $45,000, to be paid from a 10% increase in the business license fees this fiscal year and another 10% in the next fiscal year. In the new schedule, the fee for a general business license this year will be $57.75 plus $7 for each employee, and $64 plus $7.75 for each employee in the next fiscal year. Council members Jim Ramsey, Terry Birdsall and Dan McKenzie voted for the increase in business license fees; Harold E. Hofman voted against it and Mayor Sarann Kruse abstained. All council members except Hofman voted for the $45,000 subsidy for the Chamber of Commerce.

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