November 4, 2015
The P&Z department has sent out the “Business License” package for 2016. This is the first time in 3 years that the license renewals have been sent out before late December! Kudos to P&Z!
However, there are a few new things added this year to the application packet that seem to be contrary to county code and possibly state law.
At the BOC meeting 11/2/15, Mary Patrick questioned the BOC about the addition of a $20 administrative fee on top of the license fee as well as personal information being requested. Watch here:
She also gave a copy of the business license application and the corresponding code sections related to her questions to the BOC. See copy here: Business License & Codes
Why is the county now requesting a copy of your driver’s license, your incorporation papers (if you are incorporated), and emergency contact information? All the code requires is “a signed return attesting to the number of employees of such business or practitioner during the calendar year.”
We have a lot of identity theft everywhere. Personal information that is not needed should not be required. Additionally, the $20 administrative fee has never been and should not be required except in instances of late filings to “reopen the account” or for the “initial startup.”
When the BOC heard these questions, none of them responded, nor did the county attorney. It will be interesting to see if the County presses on with trying to get an administrative fee from everyone as well as a copy of their driver’s license and other personal information. The license fee is for nothing more than generating revenue.
Business owners (or any citizen) should not be giving out personal information and copies of their license unless it is absolutely necessary. In this case it is not—read the law. Also, be wise, pay with a check and not in cash when doing business with the County.