Legislature(2003 - 2004)

05/05/2003 09:02 AM FIN

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
                                                                                                                                
     CS FOR SENATE BILL NO. 114(L&C)                                                                                            
     "An Act relating to the fee for a state business license; and                                                              
     providing for an effective date."                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
This  was the first  hearing  for this  bill in  the Senate  Finance                                                            
Committee.                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
Co-chair  Wilken informed  that the Senate  Rules Committee,  at the                                                            
request of the  Governor, is sponsoring this legislation.  He stated                                                            
that this bill  would increase the annual business  license fee from                                                            
$25 to $100  for sole proprietorship  businesses and $300  for other                                                            
business  categories.  He  specified  that the  Labor  and  Commerce                                                            
version of the bill is before the Committee.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
RICK   URION,  Director,   Division   of   Occupational   Licensing,                                                            
Department  of Community  and Economic Development,  testified  that                                                            
this legislation would  align the business license fees with current                                                            
operational  expenses  as  the current  fee  structure  has been  in                                                            
affect since  1949. He  mentioned that,  originally, the  discussion                                                            
allocated a  $200 flat fee across  the board, but he stated  that it                                                            
has evolved to a two-tier  approach. He noted that there has been no                                                            
opposition to the bill  from organized business groups. He urged the                                                            
Committee  to adopt the legislation  "as it  is a good measure"  and                                                            
would generate a "substantial" amount of revenue for the State.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
Senator Bunde  noted that  Senator Ralph Seekins,  who is a  private                                                            
businessman,  contributed substantially  to the development  of this                                                            
legislation. He  continued that while the fee structure  proposed in                                                            
the Labor and Commerce  version of the bill has altered from that of                                                            
the original bill, it is a good compromise.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Urion informed  that, under this legislation,  business licenses                                                            
would  be issued annually  rather  than bi-annually,  as is  current                                                            
practice.  However,  he  noted that  the  Committee  should  address                                                            
existing  statutes   concerning  the  1,256  businesses   that  have                                                            
business  licenses  with tobacco  endorsements  as  the endorsement                                                             
language specifies that  the endorsement is valid "for the term of a                                                            
business license."  The new language  being proposed, he  explained,                                                            
would inadvertently  increase  the fee for  tobacco endorsements  to                                                            
$100 annually rather than $100 biennially, as intended.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
Senator  Taylor  asked  for  further  clarification   regarding  the                                                            
tobacco endorsement fee.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
SFC 03 # 76, Side A 10:38 AM                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
Mr. Urion  stated  that were  this legislation  adopted  as is,  the                                                            
annual fee for the tobacco endorsement would increase to $100.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair  Wilken  stated  that  this issue  would  be  addressed  in                                                            
separate legislation.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
Co-Chair Wilken ordered the bill HELD in Committee.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                

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