Business license tax discussed

By Kelly Duncan - kduncan@newberryobserver.com

PROSPERITY — Prosperity Town Council discussed increasing the town business license tax and ordinance update during a workshop session to help determine the goals and direction Council wants to take in budget preparation.

“We did a model ordinance from the Municipal Association, they did it in 2014 and I think it went into effect in 2015, you could use it or not. Our business license rates are the minimum, 25 percent lower than anyone else,” said Town Administrator Karen Livingston.

Livingston said most of the town’s minimum bill was less than $5,000, or equal paying $35 for a Class One license, which 80 percent of Prosperity businesses are retailed as.

“The Municipal Association collects business license tax for insurance, some real estate insurance, different things and we get the bulk of that check that comes to us in June and our budget is $119,000 for business licenses. Seventy-eight to $84,000 usually comes from the Municipal Association. So we’re talking $30-40,000 is all that we generate from town,” she said.

That number was taken and multiplied by 25 percent and resulted in a total of about $10,000 which will vary based on gross income.

Livingston enlisted the guidance of Town Attorney Lisa Senn, who looked over the current ordinance and model ordinance to see how the two compared.

She reviewed the current ordinance and said although some things would be covered differently, they will be done under the model that other municipalities are utilizing.

“The whole point of a model is that you’ve worked out the kinks and have done the trial and error already so that you aren’t reinventing the wheel,” Senn said.

Livingston said after researching online Rock Hill, Hartsville, Newberry and Clinton, have adopted similar ordinances. She suggested calling other municipalities whose size is similar to Prosperity’s and compare what their rates are before moving any further, to ensure everyone is on the same page.

By Kelly Duncan

kduncan@newberryobserver.com

Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.

Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.