Bothell considering business-license fee increase
June 8, 2012 · Updated 10:40 AM
The Bothell City Council is currently considering an increase to business-license fees, and councilmembers will discuss this issue at their June 19 meeting (6 p.m. at Bothell Municipal Court, 10116 N.E. 183rd St.).
According to a city newsletter, in addition to a challenging economy, the city lost two important revenue sources that amount to a total loss of more than $1 million annually: a streetlight fee of $19 per household that was eliminated for 2010; a broadband utility service that was previously collected and paid to cities.
"Bothell's lean organization and ability to draw on reserves has given the city the ability to weather the difficult economy better than most cities," city officials said in the letter, adding that Bothell would put itself at financial risk if it continues to draw on reserves to make ends meet.
Bothell has also been able maintain one of the lowest property tax levy rates in the state: among 281 Washington cities, more than 230 cities have higher tax rates than Bothell's, the city says.
"In order to sustain a balanced budget, the city is reviewing all expenses and sources of revenue, making cuts where it can and raising fees to more equitable levels when the fees have not kept pace with the region."
As a benefit to businesses, monies from the business-fee increase will go toward improving roads that lead to their buildings and, according to studies, the city says that with the increases, business owners will still pay less taxes and fees than owners in neighboring cities.
Fee increases would impact Bothell businesses as follows:
Current — $5,098
Proposed — $7,544
(800 employees, 60,000 square feet of office space, $10,000,000 annual revenue)
Medium retail store
Current — $234
Proposed — $952
(25 employees, 10,000 square feet, $1,000,000 annual revenue)
Small independent business
Current — $39
Proposed — $55
(2 employees, 1,500 square feet, $100,000 annual revenue)
The Greater Bothell Chamber of Commerce's Business Advocacy Committee will meet and discuss the issue from noon to 1 p.m. June 19 at the Bothell Police Department, 18410 101st Ave. N.E.