The committee met to discuss its occupational license tax, which had to be amended to meet the standards of recent state legislation to streamline the collection of taxes from businesses. City Clerk Lisa Rogers said that the city would no longer refer to businesses as schedules A, B and C, as the current ordinance does, but instead as retail, wholesale and professional. The ordinance will collect taxes based on gross receipts instead of net profits, which was already the city’s method.
Rogers said that the last time the city changed its occupational license tax ordinance, the biggest difference was that the minimum business license fee was increased from $25 to $50. She said that the maximum license fee for retail and wholesale businesses was currently $1,250, and that she recommended that it stay the same. The maximum fee for professional businesses is currently $3,750.50, but that she was recommending that it be changed to $2,500. This maximum is the same as the City of Elkton, and she presented their ordinance for the committee to look at. She also said that 25 Cadiz businesses paid the other maximum of $1,250 to the city last year.
Businesses classified as Schedule A currently pay a minimum of $150, a maximum of $625 and pay 0.49 percent of their gross receipts to the city each year. Schedule B businesses pay a minimum of $50, a maximum of $1,250 and pay 0.1 percent of their gross receipts to the city. Schedule C businesses pay a minimum of $100, a maximum of $3,750.50 and pay 0.3 percent of their gross receipts. Rogers said that the only thing she recommended changing was the maximum amount for businesses currently known as Schedule C. She also recommended requiring businesses to pay their taxes by April 15 instead of April 30.
Rogers said that rental properties and real estate would be included as taxable businesses. Committee Chairman Manuel Brown said that he worried that no new apartments would become available for rent, although the city might hold on to those it currently has. Rogers said that it was necessary to tax these properties the same as other businesses because people who rent several properties were in effect operating a business. She noted again that these properties would be taxed based on gross receipts and not net profits.
“This won’t be popular, but we don’t have a choice,” said Mayor Lyn Bailey.
Bailey also noted that most businesses still wouldn’t have to pay more than the current maximum of $1,250.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.