Future of business license program; County and school mull tax levy.

January 29, 2013 11:34 pm News
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Local News

29 January 2013

Future of Florence Business Licenses

Will businesses in Florence be required to post a municipal license in the future?  Maybe not says Florence City Recorder Kelli Weese.

Kelli Weese – “When you get to a certain population it becomes really an administrative headache to keep a business license program running; at least at the level that we are, the regulatory level.  We could continue to do a tax, if that’s what the council would like, but not have the regulatory piece or we could just decide that the program’s already done at the state level and we don’t need it.”

When applications for business licenses are received at city hall, Weese says they get more than just a perfunctory glance.  The process includes a thorough background check.  Because of that, the fees that are generated barely cover the costs involved.

Kelli Weese – “Are we overdoing it is really the question.  And then the other question is if we are overdoing it, or if it’s not necessary at all, should we be looking at that, basically.”

One option would be to increase the fee to generate more revenue, but Weese says another would be to simply do away with the license.

Kelli Weese – “Obviously it’s up to the council to decide what way they want to go with the program, but that’s what we’re looking at.”

The question is on the City Council’s list of goals for 2013.

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Poll Shows Slim Majority In Favor of Public Safety Tax

Lane County Commissioners will hear some encouraging news this evening.  In fact, they’ve already heard some of it.  There appears to be a mild level of support on the part of voters for at least a temporary property tax levy that would fund jail operations.  Commissioners will hear the complete report this evening.  The proposal being considered would be 50-cents per one-thousand-dollars of assessed valuation.  A marketing firm conducted a survey of 600 voters in Lane County and found that a slim majority supported.  If approved, it would provide funding to boost the number of jail beds from 120 to just over 200.  The money would also double the number of beds currently available for youthful offenders from eight to 16.  It would not, however, provide for any additional Sheriff’s patrols.  Tom Turner, the Lane County Sheriff, said the additional jail beds would prevent many of the weekly releases of prisoners before their sentences are completed.  Two hearings are set before the commission… this evening at 5:30, then again tomorrow at nine AM.  Both are at the County Courthouse in Eugene.

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97-J to discuss levy and superintendent search

A sub committee of the Siuslaw School Board will make a report to the full board tomorrow evening during a special work-session at district offices.  97-J is in the final year of a five-year, $5-million special operating levy.  An effort to put a proposal before voters that would ask to extend that levy has been underway for several months.  The board will also meet in private executive session at 6:30 tomorrow evening to review applications for replacement for retiring Superintendent Jeff Davis.  They’ll look at the screening committee’s rankings and decide which candidates to interview.

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