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Artesia : Business License Law Sets Limit, Flat Rates for Some

The Artesia City Council has given final approval to a new business license tax ordinance that places a cap on the total amount of taxes that must be paid and establishes a flat rate for three large medical businesses. The measure replaces an earlier ordinance containing fees that doctors, dentists and other professionals claimed were excessive when the city mailed out tax bills in September.

Under the new ordinance, businesses will pay a tax based on gross annual receipts, but no one will be charged more than $5,000 a year. Pioneer Hospital and Mullikin Medical Center will pay flat annual fees of $7,500, and the city’s other large medical concern, the offices of dentist Dr. Donald M. Brown, will pay $3,500.

The new fee structure was arrived at through discussions between business representatives and a council committee. But prior to the council vote, Councilman James Van Horn said that “it’s ludicrous and absolutely obscene” that doctors and dentists can’t afford higher fees. He abstained; the council passed the ordinance by a 4-0 vote.


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