Friday, February 19, 2016

TOP STORY >> Cost of business to go up

Leader staff writer

The Jacksonville City Council approved higher privilege license fees Thursday.

They go into effect 30 days from Thursday, and those businesses that don’t pay within 60 days of that date will be considered delinquent on the annual bill, according to Director of Administration Jim Durham.

Alderman James Bolden commented, “We had a very good committee that met out here, and we went over this with the business leaders. It was very positive ... (and) very productive.”

Alderman Terry Sansing said, before the unanimous vote, “It has always been my full understanding that a business license’s primary job is to identify the businesses that are operating in the city so that the city can know which businesses are within the city limits. I’ve never been big on businesses licenses being a revenue producer. However, this looks quite a bit better, quite a bit more reasonable than what we saw the other time. I think they’ve done a good job.”

Hospitality businesses, private clubs, bars, restaurants, retail stores and wholesale companies that sell alcohol will be charged based on square footage. The rates are $500 for up to 2,000 square feet, $525 for 2,001-3,000; $550 for 3,001-4,000; $575 for 4,001-5,000; $600 for 5,001-6,000; $700 for 6,001-9,999 and $825 plus 0.025 cents per square foot over 10,000 square feet.

Bakeries and restaurants that don’t sell alcohol, business/retail, hospitals, nursing/care facilities, sales, flea markets, antique shops, pawn shops and consignment shops will be charged $100 for up to 2,000 square feet, $125 for 2,001-3,000; $150 for 3,001-4,000; $175 for 4,001-5,000; $200 for 5,001-6,000; $300 for 6,001-9,999 and $425 plus 0.025 cents per square foot over 10,000 square feet.

Banks, per location, will have to pay $400.

Beauty salons, barbershops and nail salons will be charged $100 plus $10 per booth.

The rate for billboards – poster or bulletin – per face, contractors, specialty trade companies, home-based businesses, automatic and self-service car washes and detail service providers is $100.

Day care centers will have to pay $75 plus $1 per child in the Department of Human Services maximum.

Funeral homes will be charged $300.

The fee for hotels and motels is $200 plus $2 per room.

Landfill/waste facilities will be charged $500 plus $0.03 cents per ton collected.

The rate for licensed professionals – appraisers, accountants, architects, attorneys, auditors, chiropractors, dentists, engineers, optometrists, opticians, physicians, psychologists, veterinarians and others – is $150.

Non-licensed professionals, such as unlicensed accountants, tax preparation service providers and others, will have to pay $75.

Lumber/hardware stores will be charged $500 for up to 50,000 square feet, $1,000 for 50,001-99,999 and $1,500 plus 0.025 cents per square foot over 10,000.

Manufacturing/production and warehouse companies will have to pay $500 for less than 50 employees, $625 for 50-100 and $750 for 101 and above.

The fee for mobile food vendors that do not sell alcohol and vending kiosks/machine operators is $50.

The rate for mobile home parks is $100 plus $40 per acre.

Dealers who sell new vehicles will be charged $750, while used car lots will have to spend $250.

Gas stations will have to pay $200 plus $15 per pumping station.

The following will be charged $150: paint and body shops, parts supply (retail and wholesale) and repair shops.

Repair and tire shops, and towing services/wreckers will have to pay another $50, a total fee of $200.

The rate for salvage yards is $300 plus $10 per acre.

Transportation services will be charged $100 plus $25 per vehicle.

The rate for real estate sales/management companies is $100 plus $50 per licensed agent or $75 per licensed broker.

Any business not listed will be charged $100.

In other business:

• The council approved a resolution expressing the willingness of the city to utilize federal aid monies for participation in the Transportation Alternatives Program.

Public Works Director Jim Oakley explained that the resolution was needed so he could apply for a grant to help fund and estimated $500,000 worth of sidewalks along Military (Hwy. 294) and Loop roads and bike trails on Stonewall, Oneida and Northlake drives.

Mayor Gary Fletcher pointed out that paint would be used to designate a lane on the roads for bike riders.

The grant would require a 20 percent match from the city. If the project costs the estimated $500,000, that match would be $100,000.

• Aldermen passed — with little discussion — the first reading, but not the second reading, of an ordinance amending the ordinance allowing pass-through water rate increases. Ordinances must be read three times, or have readings suspended, before they can be approved and become law.

The measure will be before the council again next month.

• A resident announced that volunteers are being sought to drive seniors to the Kroger or Walmart because Knight’s is closed. The building is being renovated and will re-open as an Edwards Cash Saver in a few weeks. He also said his group was trying to start a neighborhood watch but didn’t offer any further details.