New business fee is eyed in Douglas County |

New business fee is eyed in Douglas County

A proposed Douglas County business license fee, aimed at offsetting declining county revenue, will be discussed at two meetings today.

The meetings will take place at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. at the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority building, 169 Highway 50.

The public is encouraged to attend these meetings to provide input on the business license fee to help develop its structure, said Lisa Granahan, assistant to the county manager.

The fee would bring in an estimated $600,000 to $700,000 for the county’s operations, such as the fire department, sheriff’s office, courts and other administrative functions.

It would also provide information about the types of businesses so the county could more easily aid the businesses with these public services.

In Nevada, 12 out of 17 counties impose a business license fee.

One of the structures under recommendation is the basic fee. Businesses pay a license fee of $100 for the year. This would make it fair for the mom-and-pop businesses, Granahan said. An additional fee would also be in place for the number of people the business employs. For example, a business would pay $15 more for employing one to three individuals. If a business is larger and employs at least 1,000 people, it would pay an additional $1,500.

Seventy-five percent of the businesses in Douglas county employ 10 people or fewer, Granahan said.

Contractors operating in Douglas County and home-based businesses will also need to pay a business license fee when the ordinance becomes effective. Nonprofit organizations will have their fees waived or reduced.

Granahan said a model structure for the business license fee would be presented to the Douglas County Commission in December or January after public input is collected. If the board approves the model, then a formal ordinance will be written and approved in February if everything goes according to plan.

The cost for implementing the business license fee has not been determined. The county is not planning to hire a staff to enforce the fee.

For more information, call (775) 782-9821.

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