Bothell City Council delays decision on proposed business-license fee increases

Bothell City Council didn't take action at last night's meeting regarding raising business-license fees. According to Deputy City Manager Steve Anderson, Mayor Mark Lamb told council that over the last few weeks he met with several business owners who suggested a more "public process" take place before fees are raised. Anderson added that Lamb agreed with that viewpoint, and business owners may be involved in a public session at council's next meeting on July 10.

Bothell City Council didn’t take action at last night’s meeting regarding raising business-license fees.

According to Deputy City Manager Steve Anderson, Mayor Mark Lamb told council that over the last few weeks he met with several business owners who suggested a more “public process” take place before fees are raised. Anderson added that Lamb agreed with that viewpoint, and business owners may be involved in a public session at council’s next meeting on July 10.

City staff considered three scenarios in raising business-license fees and recommended No. 3 at last night’s meeting:

• Estimated $505,148 increase

• Employee fee — no change

• Business type — double the current 2012 fee, ranging from store/office: $32 (increased fee), to apartments: $254 (increased fee)

• Outside city contractors — $32 business-type fee (new)

• Apartments — $2,700 square-footage fee (new hotels currently pay this fee)

• Square-footage fee remains the same as current fee for businesses 10,000 square feet and below (3,000 and below: $0; 3,001-5,000: $48; 5,001-10,000: $78)

• Proposed square-footage fee increases — 10,001-15,000: $1,250; 15,001-17,000: $1,720; 17,001-20,000: $1,930; 20,001-50,000: $2,330; 50,001 and above: $4,050.

Staff feels that by recommending this scenario, the city “will maintain our advantage over our competitor cities for economic development” and “will dedicate the revenues for street maintenance/improvement.”

In the meantime, business-license renewal notices will go out after the council makes its decision, which may occur at its July 10 meeting. Anderson couldn’t say if a decision to raise fees will be made at that meeting. (Normally, licenses expire June 30 and renewals go out July 1 and are due July 31.)

Anderson added that the renewal date could be pushed back to Nov. 1 as the staff prepares an ordinance amending the current code to extend the date. Council would have to approve the ordinance for the extension to happen.

The Nov. 1 extension would allow business owners to adjust to the change.

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