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Revenues linked to business fees

Monterey Herald – Oct. 22, 2009



Proponents of Measure G say existing taxes can only be raised through a ballot measure. This is supported on page 16 of the LAFCO fiscal analysis of Carmel Valley incorporation. However, money paid for a business licenses is a fee, not a tax.

What's the difference? A tax takes a cut of some other transaction for the purposes of raising revenue that's not connected to the activity being taxed. A fee, on the other hand, is a charge connected to the actual direct governmental cost of the activity.

Currently, Monterey County does not require businesses in the unincorporated areas to have a business license. However, all 12 cities in the county require anyone conducting business in the city to have business license, including businesses based elsewhere (e.g., a landscaper based in one city but serving clients in a different city would require business licenses from both cities). A business license fee could be introduced into the proposed city without a ballot measure. Other cities in our county charge a business license fee as a percentage of gross revenue.

Carmel Valley residents, your cost of goods and services may go up pending the cost of the business license fee not raised through a ballot measure.

Mike Terry
Carmel Valley



Last Updated: Oct 23, 09

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