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City to review business license structure

By Michael Butler

The City of Tallassee is considering a change in its business license rates. The topic was to be discussed at the Sept. 13 city council meeting but was tabled. A public meeting is scheduled now for Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

The proposal was to change the annual fee to 1/10 of one percent of yearly gross income for certain businesses. That could mean an sizeable increase for some retail businesses.

Tallassee city councilman Bill Godwin said that over 200 hours has been put in researching the fee structure with comparisons to other municipalites that have adopted the same model. Godwin added that it could bring in another $250,000 to the city's coffers per year.


"We're going to meet with business people and try to come up with a happy compromise," Godwin said. "There was an extensive study done. We compared about 15 towns as comparable to Tallassee as we could find."

Among those were neighboring communities Wetumpka and Millbrook.

"We're trying to compare apples to apples. We looked at their formulas for charging business tax. Without exception, the businesses were paying more than what would be paid here. The problem with Tallassee is nothing has been done in years. It should have been done in increments."

Tallassee has implemented addtional taxes in recent years including a sales tax increase, a gas tax and an ad valorem tax.

"Tallassee was one of the few places in the state that didn't have an ad valorem tax," said Godwin. "Every dollar is designated for specific projects."

Godwin reiterated that most businesses would not see much change.

"Retail would pay the most. Most of the businesses in town would not be impacted very much. Your large retailers would be hit a little bit more based on a percentage that they bring in."