Minneapolis panel rejects mayor's request for 3 percent increase.
Minneapolis business owners can rest easy. The city is likely to keep most license fees the same next year.
The City Council's regulatory committee voted Monday against a proposal in Mayor R.T. Rybak's budget to raise business license fees by 3 percent, choosing instead to keep them flat. The committee did favor raising one category of fees, pollution control, by 3 percent.
Even though it must be approved by the full council, the vote is a win for businesses fretting over the possibility that fees would rise more than they have since 2009. The fee increase was 1.5 percent in 2012, 1.5 percent in 2011 and flat in 2010.
Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, who chairs the committee, wanted more explanation before raising fees again.
"It became apparent from our initial meetings with staff that it would take some more time than I think we really had allowed in this year to do the type of analysis that we wanted to do to do a thorough review of expenses and ... legal authority around fees and revenues," Glidden said.
Council Member Gary Schiff, another member of the committee, agreed with Glidden's motion.
"I think there's more efficiency that we can continue to work towards in our regulatory services department," Schiff said. "And that we have not yet found all the unnecessary regulations that are out there and all the reforms that are potentially available for us to make it easier to run a business in Minneapolis."
The 3 percent increase was expected to generate $300,000 in revenue. For a large grocery store, the cost would have risen from $1,544 to $1,590. For a hotel with more than 201 rooms, it would have gone from $1,143 to $1,177.
The fees that will rise apply to businesses that are potential polluters, including those that create hazardous waste, air emissions or industrial wastewater.
Eric Roper 612-673-1732