SHEFFIELD — Downtown business owners in Sheffield said an increase in business license fees will not be an issue for them.
City Council members unanimously approved a $2 increase on the administrative charge associated with issuing business licenses.
City Clerk Clayton Kelly told the council that every five years the state Legislature allows municipalities to increase the fee. He said the city increased the cost of a business license from $5 to $10 more than five years ago.
“It’s time to start mailing out notices to business owners,” Kelly said.
“We don’t want to pinch our businesses, but I don’t think this will do that.”
Councilman Steve Stanley said the $2 increase is reasonable.
“It’s going to be a struggle, but I think we can fight through it,” said Chip Gaisser, owner of Bob & Bill’s Barber Shop on North Nashville Avenue.
“It’s probably not going to break me. There are some things that are issues, but that’s not one of them.”
Jimmy Hollis, one of the owners of Unique Design Upholstery on Montgomery Avenue, said the business license fee has been $10 for the past nine or 10 years.
“Another two dollars for a business license, I don’t guess that will be a big deal,” Hollis said.
If the price doubled or tripled at one time, that could be a problem, though.
“We’re not as big a business as some here in Sheffield,” he said. “We’re just as small an upholstery shop as you can get. There’s just the two of us.”
Kelly said the city issued 1,974 business licenses this year. Based on that number, the fee will raise an additional $3,948 for the general fund budget.
Kelly said the $12 fee could be compared to the “handling charge” associated with purchasing a ticket to a concert or sporting event.
The actual cost of a 2013 business license is calculated on the business’ 2012 gross receipts, Kelly said. There are 16 schedules used to calculate the fee depending on the type of business.
Kelly said the fee will remain $12 until the Legislature approves another increase.
The next time that happens, Kelly said the city’s administrative fee will increase automatically.
“When the state makes an adjustment, we will make the same adjustment,” he said.
Business owners will be notified of the increase when they receive their courtesy notices reminding them that their business license expires Dec. 31.
Kelly said business owners have until Jan. 31 to renew their license without a penalty.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.