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Holmes Beach opposes tax repeal

By Kathy Prucnell, Islander Reporter

The Holmes Beach city commission Jan. 17 unanimously approved a resolution opposing pending Florida legislation that seeks a repeal of the local business tax receipt law.

        The proposed legislation, if passed, will eliminate Holmes Beach’s authority to tax local businesses.

        Citing $80,000 in city business tax collections the past two fiscal years, Chair David Zaccagnino said the city has collected fees of $52.50 to $105 from each local business annually. He added it has allowed the city to keep track of businesses, fund services to businesses, and protect its citizens from potentially unscrupulous business.

        Commissioner Sandy Haas Martens moved for, and Commission John Monetti seconded, a motion opposing Florida House Bill 4025 and Senate Bill 760 “which would eliminate the local business tax act resulting in a loss of revenue.”

        The motion passed unanimously.

        In other business, the city commission unanimously approved Mayor Rich Bohnenberger’s recommendations to appoint Renee Ferguson and Marvin Grossman to serve as alternates on the code enforcement board.

        Commissioners also voted 5-0 to approve the mayor’s recommendation to appoint Cheryl Gowin and Dennis Groh to serve as alternates on the parks and beautification committee.

        Also at the Jan. 17 meeting, Bohnenberger advised commissioners of the city’s recognition from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for achieving a “6” in the flood insurance ratings program.

        As an administrative matter, commissioners shuffled their first meeting in February to Feb.7 due to it falling on Valentine’s Day. A Jan. 31 regular meeting and work session also were announced.

        Meetings are held at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive.

 

Holmes Beach business fees

        As authorized by state law, Holmes Beach collected $77,393.34 and $79,901.71 in annual local business tax receipts in fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11.

        Like last year, according to the city clerk’s office, state legislators are aiming for the repeal of the statutes that allow this local revenue stream. It failed in 2010, but another effort appears headed into law as the Florida Legislature continues its 2012 session.

        “We won’t have a database of businesses if they pass this,” said Stacey Johnston, Holmes Beach city clerk, of Florida House Bill 4025 and Senate Bill 760. “It will mean a loss of government jobs.”

        The city commission’s Jan. 17 resolution opposing the repeal, states the tax is a “local option and local governments are best able to determine whether a business tax receipt should be required.”

        City code provides for a business tax on each business that has a permanent or branch office and for occupations or professions that transact business within the city for the privilege of engaging in or managing any business, profession or occupation within the city limits.

The schedule of fees set by city ordinances on businesses, professions and occupations is as follows:

        ∙ Automobiles, dealer, new cars, sales and repair: $105.

        ∙ Dealer, used cars, sales and repair: $78.75.

        ∙ Taxi, first six cars: $52.50.

        ∙ Garage and filling station, including repair, sale of gas, oil, tires, accessories and parts: $105.

        ∙ Car wash, vehicle detailing: $78.75.

        ∙ Vehicle rentals: $105.

        ∙ Barbershops and beauty parlors: Up to three chairs $57.75, each additional chair $2.10.

        ∙ Boat dealers and boat yards, dealer, new or used boats, including sale of marine supplies (marine supplies only, see merchant, retail): $78.75.

        ∙ Boat yard and marina, including dry dock or marine ways for care, repair or construction, storage or rental of boats: $105.

        ∙ Boat charters, per boat: $52.50.

        ∙ Coin-operated devices: $15.75.

        ∙ Contractors, general and subcontractors: $78.75.

        ∙ Financial institutions, commercial banks, savings and loans, credit unions and mortgage companies: $105.

        ∙ Laundries, dry cleaners, self-service coin-operated laundries: $78.75.

        ∙ Merchants, retail or wholesale, stock up to $5,000: $52.50; stock from $5,001 to $10,000: 78.75; stock of over $10,000: $105; services: $52.50.

        ∙ Permitted and approved home occupations: $52.50.

        ∙ Professional, including but not limited to: accountants, stock brokers, architects: $105.

        ∙ Rentals, residential rentals, per unit: $26.25. Hotels, motels and any other public lodging establishments as defined by state statute with six or less units, per unit: $26.25. Hotels, motels and any other public lodging establishments as defined by state statute with seven or more units, plus $3.15 per unit: $157.50.

        ∙ Restaurants and cafeterias: seating to 25: $78.75. Seating 26 to 50: $105. Seating 51 to 100: $131.25. Seating for over 100: $157.50.

        ∙ Warehouse, mini-storage and lockers: $78.75.

        ∙ Unclassified: $52.50.

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