The City of Claxton voted Monday night to approve a moratorium on charging a business license regulatory fee.
Claxton was operating as one of the few communities that requires licensed contractors doing business inside city limits to obtain a permit and pay a $25 regulatory fee.
Code Enforcement Officer Harold Rogers and Interim City Administrator Carter Crawford discussed the issued with Mayor Branch ahead of the meeting and the three recommended imposing a moratorium until further study can be conducted on the need for the fee.
Councilman Mel Kelly said many other cities take care of a regulatory fee through a building permit fee, which are often much more expensive.
Permit fees for the City of Claxton:
- $0-$1,000 – no cost for permit
- $1,001 – $15,000 – $3.00 per thousand
- $15,001 + is $2.00 per thousand
Contractors will still be required to have an active business license and a permit for the work to be conducted.
The motion was made by Councilman Larry Anderson and seconded by Councilman Risher Willard. It passed unanimously.
The moratorium will go into effect immediately.
June 21, 2017 at 7:43 pm
The fee was never legal to begin with. Georgia State Code 48-13-6 says that the city can impose an occupation tax or fee on any business with an office or location in the city limits. O.C.G.A 48-13-5 defines location of office as any structure or vehicle in which business is conducted but does not include temporary work sites or sites servicing a single customer. That would mean a majority of the people who have paid these regulatory fees were made to do so illegally.
Claxton’s Code of Ordinances or it’s Charter as it is referred to is dated 1972 and is not online for anyone to be able to find. O.C.G.A 48-13-27 says that they should have enacted an ordinance relating to occupation taxes or regulatory fees on or after April 11, 1995 in order to be compliant with the provisions of the code.
Claxton has a lot of things to get right before they go around charging people to work in this town.