After a lengthy review of the city’s 1986 privilege license ordinance, members of the Evarts City Council made numerous changes to the annual license fees payable to the city. With the action taken during a recent special called meeting, these changes will become effective Jan 1.
Mayor Eddie Manning said taxes paid as a result of the privilege license ordinance are for the purpose of a general fund revenue source for the city. He said the tax is imposed and levied on all businesses, firms, corporations, partnerships and proprietorship engaging in the businesses, trades, occupations and professions in the city.
“Our privilege license ordinance has not been updated for a long long time,” said Manning. “We’re not the only ones in the county that hasn’t updated this ordinance in years. With the pinch coming on for all of us, I think some of our prices on non-residential businesses in town are very low. The stores that are here, we don’t want to do anything to hurt them, but the people coming into our town doing business are paying lower taxes than our residential businesses.”
“I think this is a chance to gain some revenue for our city without hurting our local businesses,” he said. “We may have to bump our local businesses up some, but not a lot.”
Councilman Ernie Woodard said he didn’t want to raise taxes for local businesses too high because they had been loyal to the city and remained in business throughout the years.
“We can’t be too hard, because God bless them they’re still here,” said Woodard. “It’s a small town to try and do business in. We appreciate them staying here throughout the years.”
After reviewing each description of businesses, trades, occupations and/or commercial/industrial activity listed in the ordinance, council agreed to increase prices in over 50 categories and added a few new categories such as bingo.
“When times are tough it’s hard to tuck money away, so this is an opportunity for us to make up for lost revenue to the city,” said Manning.
The ordinance states if any person, firm or corporation operates or carries on any business, occupation, calling or profession or does any act for which a license is required under this ordinance, without first having obtained a license to do so, that person, firm or corporation shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction will be fined.
The city clerk will mail updated bills prior to Jan. 1. If the tax is not paid within 60 days after the due date, a penalty of 10 percent will be added.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com