When it comes to running cities and counties, nothing’s cheap anymore. That’s why Newport is reviewing its laws, codes, fees and tax schedules to ensure that revenues coming into the city are properly levied and that nobody gets a free ride. Or a complicated ride, or a less than fair ride, or, or, or….
Enter the discussion: Business license fees and hotel/motel/vacation rental room taxes. The current laws covering those revenues are seen by many to be in deep need of a tune up as to which kinds of businesses, with multiple sub-businesses, should pay what, and for how much.
A task force made up of major sectors of Newport’s tourism community have spent the last few months going over the city rules about all this while also checking with other cities and counties around Oregon to see how they view their own situations. The task force told the city council Monday night that Newport’s business license fees and room tax rates were not comparatively out of line. But how they are applied need adjusting. And they gave a progress report on a near-final set of recommendations on how the city’s business license and room tax codes should be changed.
They displayed a progressively higher business license fee for businesses with a higher number of employees. They also asked the council to make sure that city coffers are getting room taxes from everyone who has rental property, even if they’re just renting the other side of a duplex, “they’re making money, and making money is a business” they said.
The task force also said that if a company is based outside of Newport, yet does business in Newport it should, in most cases, be required to get a Newport business license. However, they appeared to be agreeable to special events like Farmers Markets, Seafood and Wine, and the Lincoln County Fair to fall under a single umbrella fee paid by the event promoter.
The task force said it would continue to meet to iron out any wrinkles in their final recommendations to the council. City Finance Director David Marshall said that fiscal year 2011-2012 business license renewals will go out in the mail to all local Newport businesses before the end of the month so any changes in business license provisions won’t take effect until next fiscal year, starting in July of 2012.Share on Facebook