Thursday, February 18, 2016

Business license task force continues its work

Listen to the podcast interview with the state Chamber of Commerce president discussing business licensing legislation. 

The task force of business license and finance officials from 15 cities and towns met on Wednesday to continue work on the details of the proposed Business License Tax Standardization Act.

Since late 2015, the Association has been working with the state Chamber of Commerce, Representative Rick Quinn and other interested parties to draft legislation that will make doing business with cities and towns easier by standardizing the process for business licensing renewals.

During Wednesday’s three-hour meeting, task force members discussed details related to the five points that are included in the bill and carefully vetted each provision of the bill to ensure its accuracy and efficiency.
The five points include

  • Standard definition of gross income
  • Standard license year
  • Standard license due date
  • Standard business license class schedule based on IRS profitability statistics that will be updated every two years. The standardized schedule would ensure businesses are in the same class regardless of where they are doing business.
  • Online payment portal
As Miriam Hair told the 500+ local officials assembled in early February at Hometown Legislative Action Day, “The day has come that business owners expect government to provide online services just like the private sector does. So, instead of every city developing an online portal for the payment of business license renewals, let’s do it together.

“I always say the Association should provide those services where it is more efficient for cities to work together than individually. I strongly believe this portal is one of those situations, especially in an environment with increasingly stringent and expensive security and credit card regulations.”

Read more about the portal in this Uptown article. Keep up with everything happening with this legislation in the weekly legislative report.

The state Chamber is reviewing the latest version of the draft bill based on the five points above.

Listen to this January podcast interview with Chamber President Ted Pitts giving the business community’s perspective on the importance of the partnership with the Municipal Association to get this legislation passed.

Streamlining business licensing process is a legislative priority this session for the Association and the state Chamber.

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