Tuesday, January 12, 2016

TOP STORY >> Cabot most business friendly in area on fees

Leader staff writer

Jacksonville’s proposed privilege license rates are generally below or on par with Sherwood, but higher than those Cabot charges.

Sherwood updated its ordinance levying those fees in 2003, while Cabot also has a newer policy, approved in 2001.

By comparison, the last time Jacksonville changed its rates was 1974.

Some categories could not be adequately compared because the three cities calculate the annual cost for business licenses differently.

Jacksonville’s proposed ordinance bases most of its fees on square footage.

Cabot takes a flat-rate approach, listing by type the cost for hundreds of businesses.

Sherwood employs a base rate plus a charge per employee in most instances and — in some cases — also collects 0.075 percent of the value of the company’s stock. The base rate in some categories is affected by the number of employees a company has. There are also categories where square footage and additional services play a role.

The proposed Jacksonville ordinance groups alcohol sales into a category that includes hospitality businesses, private clubs, restaurants, retailers and wholesalers. They would pay a minimum of $500 for up to 2,000 square feet and a maximum of $825 plus $0.025 per square foot over the 10,000-square-foot mark.

Private clubs in Sherwood are charged $300 plus $10 per employee, but that city’s ordinance doesn’t have a category like the one Jacksonville has proposed.

Using Buffalo Wild Wings as a hypothetical example, the rates for Jacksonville and Sherwood can be more clearly compared.

Although it’s not a private club, the restaurant serves alcohol and presumably could have sought the same private club license that Chili’s in Jacksonville has, if it chose to be in a dry area. When Buffalo Wild Wings came to Sherwood, The Leader reported it was bringing 120 jobs to the community.

So, if 120 people were hired, that was the restaurant’s entire workforce and it was a private club, Buffalo Wild Wings would pay $1,500 for business license in Sherwood.

The minimum square footage recommended for franchises on the national chain’s website is 4,000. If the restaurant were a 4,000-square-foot private club located in Jacksonville, it would pay $550 under the proposed ordinance.

Note that the square footage and how many employees correspond to it are unknown.


For the sake of argument, the maximum square footage suggested on the chain’s website is 7,000. So that would raise the cost to get a license in Jacksonville to $700, according to the proposed ordinance.

Cabot doesn’t list private clubs or other businesses selling alcohol, meaning they’d have to spend $50 as “any business not otherwise listed” would. Buffalo Wild Wings would still pay $50, as that is the city’s rate for restaurants.

Bakeries, on the other hand, are a category in the proposed and other ordinances.

If the Jacksonville rates are passed, those would pay between $100 (for up to 2,000 square feet) and $425 plus $0.025 pre square foot over 10,000 square feet.

The rate in Cabot is $25, but Sherwood charges $70-$100 plus $10 per employee.

To compare Jacksonville and Sherwood, once again, an example is needed. A 2003 St. Petersburg Times article about a bakery franchise moving to town reports that the business is 5,300 square feet and 40 employees were hired to work there.

If that same bakery came to Jacksonville, it would be charged $200.

In Sherwood, the fee would be $470.

Jacksonville restaurants would pay the same as bakeries, but spend $50 plus $10 per employee in Sherwood and $50 in Cabot.

Back to the Buffalo Wild Wings example, if it weren’t a private club, didn’t serve alcohol, had 120 employees and was 7,000 square feet, the fee would be $300 under the Jacksonville proposal and $1,250 in Sherwood.


In Jacksonville’s proposed ordinance, banks pay a flat rate of $400 per location.

In Cabot, they would pay $250 for a main location and $150 per branch.

In Sherwood, the rate for banks is $675 plus $70 for each branch (the first five branches) and $50 for each additional branch over the first five. That fee only applies to branches that are in Sherwood though.

Beauty salons and barbershops would be charged $50 plus $10 per stylist or barber in Jacksonville.

They’d pay $35 in Cabot.

In Sherwood, barbers and beauty operations spend $40 plus $10 per barber (not including the owner), $18 per manicurist and the 0.075 percent stock fee. Barbershops and beauty parlor supply houses pay $100 plus the same stock fee.

The Jacksonville ordinance has a category for “business/retail, hospitals, nursing/care facilities and sales.” The rates ranges from $100 for up to 2,000 square feet to $425 plus $0.025 per square foot over 10,000.

Sherwood does not have a comparable category, but department stores spend $100 plus the stock fee, while for-profit hospitals pay $135 plus $10 per employee. Nursing homes are charged $70 plus $1.50 per bed.

The going rate for stores in Cabot seems to be $50, although department stores are charged $75. A nursing home pays $100, while hospitals are charged $50 because there isn’t a category for them.

Contractors and specialty trades would end up spending $100 a year under the proposed Jacksonville ordinance.

They pay $50 in Cabot. Sherwood charges from $100 to $800 plus per-employee fees, with the base amount figured from the worth of their building permits.

Home-based day cares would spend $100 a year if the Jacksonville ordinance were approved. Other day cares would pay $100 (for up to 1,000 square feet) to $800 plus $0.025 cents per square foot over 10,000.

Day cares aren’t a listed category in Sherwood’s ordinance, but they would spend $50 in Cabot because there is not a category for them. Businesses not covered by a category in Sherwood are charged a minimum of $100 plus $15 per employee and the stock fee, if applicable.

Flea markets, antique dealers, pawnshops and consignment stores would pay $150 (for up to 1,000 square feet) to $850 plus $0.025 cents per square over 10,000 under the Jacksonville ordinance.

In Cabot, flea market owners and dealers pay $35 each. Antique shops and pawnshops are charged $50, as are consignment shops because they don’t fall under any category.

Antique dealers in Sherwood pay $70 plus $10 per employee. Antique and craft malls are charged $70 plus $7 per booth for the first 100 booths and $4 for each booth over that. Flea markets pay $50 plus $7 per booth or stall. Pawnbrokers pay $405 plus $205 if they sell precious metals and/or $50 if the sell used wearing apparel. There isn’t a category called consignment shops.

Funeral homes would pay a flat rate of $300 under the Jacksonville proposal.

In Sherwood, they’d spend $170 plus $10 per employee and another $100 if the business has a mortician.

Cabot funeral homes pay a flat fee of $100.

Hotels and motels would spend $200 plus $2 per room in Jacksonville.

They pay $100 in Cabot and $70 plus $2 per room in Sherwood. But, in Sherwood, they’d have to pay an extra $50 to provide laundry or dry cleaning services, $50 plus $10 per employee to have a restaurant, $18 per vehicle if they rent limousines and/or $70 if they rent convention or meeting rooms.


If Jacksonville passes the proposed updated ordinance as it is now, licensed professionals will pay more than they would in Sherwood or Cabot.

Appraisers, accountants, architects, auditors, chiropractors, dentists, engineers, optometrists, opticians, physicians, psychologists, veterinarians and others would have to spend $150 for a business license.

In Cabot, they pay from $50 to $75 a year, while Sherwood charges $100 for each professional plus $17.50 per paraprofessional employee.

In Jacksonville, a lumber or hardware store would spend between $500 (for up to 50,000 square feet) and $1,500 plus $0.025 cents per square foot above 100,000.

Hardware stores pay 100 plus the 0.075 percent stock fee in Sherwood. There wasn’t a category called lumber, but those who sell building and plumbing materials, brick and tile pay the same rate.

Hardware stores in Cabot spend $50, and lumberyards are charged $75.

Manicurists, in Jacksonville, would pay $50 plus $10 per technician.

In Cabot, the rate is $50 because there is no category. It’s $40 in Sherwood.

Manufacturing and production companies, under the Jacksonville proposal would pay $500 for less than 500 employees, $625 for 50-100 employees and $750 for 101 or more employees.

Manufacturers in Sherwood are charged $70 plus $4 each for the first 50 employees and $3 for each employee over that.

So a plant that has 500 employees would pay $500 in Jacksonville versus $1,420 in Sherwood.

Cabot has a flat rate of $100 for manufacturers.

Mobile food vendors in Jacksonville would spend $50. In Sherwood, a “mobile canteen” pays the same per vehicle.

Restaurants, lunch stands, cafes, delis and wagons also pay $50 in Cabot.

Mobile home parks in Jacksonville, if the proposal were approved, would be charged $100 plus $50 per acre.

In Sherwood, they pay $100 plus $8 per space. Because there isn’t a category called that, Cabot mobile home parks are charged $50.


The rates related to motor vehicles, under the Jacksonville proposal, would be $100 for automatic and self-service car washes and detail service providers; $750 for new car dealers; $250 for used car dealers; $200 plus $15 per grade of gasoline offered for gas stations/convenience stores; $150 for paint and body shops, parts suppliers (retail or wholesale) and repair shops; $200 for a repair and tire shop; $300 plus $10 per acre for a salvage business and $200 for towing services/wreckers. Transportation services would be charged $100 plus $25 per vehicle.

In Cabot, the rates are $50 for a car wash; $150 for dealers selling new and used vehicles on the same lot; $100 for used car-only dealers; $75 for an auto repair shop; $50 for auto supplies and accessories and auto service stations; $25 for bus and freight terminals; $50 for a convenience store with gas pumps; $35 for junk dealers; $25 for a taxi or limousine service; and $35 for a wrecker service.

An automatic car wash in Sherwood pays $125 plus $10 per employee. Manuel car washes pay $50 per employee plus $8 per stall. Detailing costs an extra $75 plus $10 per employee, while mobile or truck washers are an additional $125 plus $13 per employee and repair service is another $50 plus $10 per employee.

A paint and body shop would pay $70 plus $10 per employee in Sherwood, plus $25 for each damage appraiser, if applicable.

The other Sherwood rates are as follows.


New automobile dealers pay $100 plus the 0.075 percent stock fee and another $50 if they have a repair component.

Used automobile dealers pay $100 plus $10 per employee and another $50 plus $18 per wrecker if they offer that service.

Salvage businesses spend $100 plus $10 per employee and the same wrecker fees if applicable.

An auto service station would pay $100 plus $10 per hose, $18 per mechanic and $10 per employee.

The real estate sales/management category in the proposed Jacksonville ordinance lists $100 plus $75 per licensed agent or broker as the fee to be charged.

In Cabot, the rates are $50 for each broker and $25 for each agent or salesman.

Sherwood charges $100 plus $18 per employee and $25 per salesman.

The business may also pay $2.50 per 1,000 square feet of commercial or office space available for rent. The minimum fee for that is $35.

They may also spend $3.50 per rented residential unit for the first $100 and $2 per unit after that.

For rented or leased warehouse or industrial space, the fee is $1 per 1,000 square feet. The minimum charge is $18.

Vending kiosks/machine operators would pay $50 under the proposed Jacksonville ordinance. They pay the same in Cabot, while, in Sherwood, the vending machine fee is $20.