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Council to Consider Business License Hike

Businesses could soon be paying twice as much to renew their licenses, and new establishments also might have to pay more under a proposal that the City Council will consider Tuesday.

Officials are considering a proposal to boost the annual business license renewal fee to $12 from $6. The change would raise about $96,000 in new revenue, based on the current average of 16,000 business licenses a year, Deputy City Administrator Robert Franz said.

Franz also proposed raising the fee for new business licenses to $25, which would offset the cost to the city for processing the required paperwork and help balance the city’s 1996-97 operating budget.

The fee is now $10 a year. The increase would generate about $40,000 a year in new revenue, Franz said.

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The Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce will oppose the increase because of concerns that it could hurt small businesses, said Joyce Riddell, the organization’s president.

“We would like to see the city hold the line on fee increases and generate new revenue through business attraction and retention,” Riddell said. The chamber is also concerned that the city “keep the business license fee more in line with neighboring cities to keep us competitive.”

The council will seek public comment on the business fee proposal and several other revenue-related issues Tuesday. Final action is expected on Sept. 16 when the new city budget is adopted.


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