WESTMINSTER : Plan Would Double Business License Tax

Voters will decide in November whether to double the city's business license tax to make up for income lost to inflation since the tax was last increased in 1978.

The proposed increase would raise an additional $300,000 a year.

During the last fiscal year, income generated by the tax amounted to 1.3% of the city's general fund--half the 1978 level. The increased tax would bring business tax revenue back up to about 2.6%, which is the average for California cities. It would also adjust the rate annually based on inflation, Westminster officials said.

Public Works Director Don Vestal said the new fee structure would be partially based on the number of employees a business has, so that smaller businesses would not pay as much as larger ones. Most businesses would pay $80, plus $5 for each full-time employee and $2.50 for each part-time employee.

"I wouldn't see it as a hardship. For most businesses we're talking about a $30-a-year increase," he said.

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