TUSTIN : City Passes Amnesty Plan for Business Tax

The City Council has unanimously approved an amnesty program that will allow business owners to pay a delinquent business license tax without penalties.

The program, which will be in effect from April to June, is also intended to encourage unlicensed businesses to obtain permits without fear of prosecution or payment of past penalties, officials said. The council adopted it last week.

In 1992, the city collected $8,500 under a similar program that also helped identify unlicensed businesses, according to Dana Ogdon, a senior planner at the Community Development Department.

Ogdon said there are about 5,500 licensed businesses in the city, but many more may be operating without a license, particularly those based in private homes, he said.


A business license is necessary before a business is allowed to operate. The business license tax ranges from $25 to $100, depending on the estimated annual gross income of the business. The business license is renewable every Jan. 31.

The business license tax, which is different from a sales tax, goes to the city’s general fund and helps pay for police, fire and other services, Ogdon said.