San Luis Obispo seeking business fee and tax revenue

August 23, 2010


The city of San Luis Obispo sent out 3,900 letters seeking business license fees from rental property owners today as part of an aggressive campaign to increase license fee revenues.

The letter asks landlords to pay a business application fee of $68 to the city and a yearly tax of 50 cents per thousand. The city says that obtaining business tax and license fees from landlords could increase city revenue by $80,000 a year.

In this case, the city has decided to waive any retroactive fees.

The city has been actively approaching business owners that might be doing business in the city. San Luis Obispo municipal codes provide city officials great discretion in determining which businesses require a license and how tax assessments are determined.

“The Code defines business very broadly in a way that we have concluded in the past includes out of area businesses soliciting customers and making money from them in the city,” said Debbie Malicoat, SLO finance manager. “We also have an apportionment provision that recognizes that an out of area business may derive only a small percentage of its revenue from city business activity and may be subject to taxes in multiple cities.”

If the amount of revenue a business has generated from work conducted in the city limits is difficult to determine, the finance director will do an investigation and determine how much tax a business has to pay in a “reasonable and nondiscriminatory manner,” according to chapter 301 of the municipal code.

“In fixing the business tax to be charged, the finance director shall have the power to base the business tax upon a percentage of gross receipts, operating expenses, floor space, payroll, number of employees, business taxes paid to other cities, or any other measure which will assure that the business tax assessed shall be uniform with the amount of business done in the city of San Luis Obispo, or of businesses of a like nature, so long as the amount assessed does not exceed the business tax set forth in this chapter,” according to the municipal code.

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“…The city says that obtaining business tax and license fees from landlords could increase city revenue by $80,000 a year…”

LOL!!! And the city will hire 1-2 people at a cost of $180,000/year to “administrate” the “program.”

Are they going to issue business licenses for the guys who are running medical marijuana delivery services? Didn’t SLO ban pot dispensaries? How will they reconcile this?

Morro Bay once tried to make food services and delivery services for things like produce, seafood, meats, FedEx, UPS etc… get a business license in order to deliver in Morro Bay. The businesses said they would quit delivering here first which would leave the town’s restaurants without a way to restock themselves.

Needless to say in a town with more than 50 restaurants, it became a huge deal and the council had to back off.

I suggest something similar be done in SLO. Quit doing business in this town and watch how fast the council changes its tune.

Government is too good at nickel and diming everyone to death with these endless fees. Heaven forbid they cut government when revenues are coming up short. No, they’d rather raise taxes and fees.

Something has to give and I want it to be government spending.

I flat refuse to buy Biz Lic. from MB. They actually won’t sign off final bldg. permits if no biz tlic.are bought. Tradesmen actually improve an area, thus increase taxable value of bldgs. when contractors complete their work. A friend who is a hot shot lawyer says these biz. lic. are unconstitutional. Their BS reasons are that we use their streets, thus must pay to fix them. So what, if you drive around the county we have to write cks. all day?

We don’t “drive” on the city streets of Paso Robles. No, no. We “dodge” potholes, ruts, crevices, and road base. Who could speed?

I really don’t understand why this is a problem. When I lived in Arroyo Grande and sold real estate I was required to have a business license. My husband and I both have businesses, not in SLO, with a business license for each, and a home occupation permit for each, insurance and state required licenses. If you want to do business you should be happy to do it according to all required statutes. Landlords should not be exempt, nor should anyone else. You are saving huge amounts of money by not having to rent a business location. Quit whining or go to work for someone else and get paid minimum wage.

There are exemptions for paying the fees associated with city business licenses. If you hold a professional State license in Paso, you still have to file for a business license but do not pay the fee for the license. Taking up my time to give me a piece of paper saying I am a business (and not charging me a fee) when the STATE has already done so (and charged me a hefty fee) is redundant and a total waste of resource and tax dollars spent policing business like myself. Do you get that?????

I don’t think the local gov understands that when those who provide jobs can longer operate at a profit they have to terminate some of those jobs. Now gov seems to be big on the ” trickle down effect” so let me explain it this way. 12% of the public sector is unemployed that means that we can no longer afford all of our employees and we have to lay off 12% of you. Get it, the “trickle down effect” works both way’s.

If I were a merchant in SLO I’d be on your door steps darn fast. I know it’s true that you are now trying to charge everyone who does any business in SLO even if they don’t actually perform their services there or maintain their business office there. No consultant can meet anyone in SLO without a business license or opening themselves up to your rights to snoop into their business records. Forget socialist, try GESTAPO.

Acronym for S.L.O., Socialism Leading to Oppression.

So forcing everyone who rents a home or apartment (or a room?) in SLO has to purchase a business license and pay annual fees. I should think it will require a full time job to oversee this all this public harassment. Why not just terminate the public position and we will all break even? You greedy gov employees are going to take down whatever economy the local merchants are still able to provide in SLO. Get out of the trough you PIGS. Fire some people and get off your lazy duffs.

I had to obtain a business license recently for the city of Paso. I had no problem doing this. However, when chatting with the city rep, Tina, I asked her what those homes & businesses do who charge for parking during the fair. Seems to me they are operating as a business, no? She advised the city “looks the other way basically” as they are providing a service to the community. My business is a service to the community. They make pure profit and likely do not claim the income on their taxes. I make profit after expenses and claim the income on my taxes. I hold a professional state license. Someone please explain to me why I am seeing this as unjust….?

I forgot to add, I pay NOTHING for my business license as my professional license fee puts me in the “exempt” to pay category.

A friend of mine who lives in Templeton just received one of these notices. As a result, she has informed the city of SLO that she will no longer meet her clients or any business associates in SLO. Apparently they want her to pay them for a business license and allow them to review all her business receipts and expenses because she plans social events and sometimes recommends venues in SLO! She also takes her clients to lunches in SLO and the city claims these act’s of patronizing the merchants are also considered doing business and she needs a SLO business license. She will no longer recommend SLO to her clients or meet with a client there for lunch. She tells me that Pismo Beach is very happy to have her business in their city without raping her for patronizing the merchants while talking business with a client! I know this sounds nuts but just call the city and ask them, they will ask if you discuss business when you are in SLO!

Worthless socialists who can’t support themselves forcing us to do it. This is the tip of the iceberg of what’s coming down the pike. The state contractor’s board is teaming with local building depts. to force building permits be pulled on past jobs where none were pulled by tracing serial numbers on equipt. and materials They have even teamed with the stae dept. of Ins. to have bldg. insp. demand proof of Ins. from contractors at jobsites.Or how about this, If a tradesman advertises without a contractor’s lic. the phone co.will disconnect the ads ph. no. None of this stuff was an issue until the slowdown, now all of a sudden the desparate bureaucrats have risen with by blackmailing those who are in the trenches.

Say goodbye to capitalism and free enterprise, you know, the stuff we fought and died to defend? These govt. worker weaklings in society who must sneak these stinking rules and regulations through in the middle of the night to survive are the reason the U.S. is sinking into the abyss. As they release the hundreds of thousands of weed cases from prison watch who fills the empty cells, those who refuse or can’t afford to support Govt’ beaurcrats. Govt. is trying to provide jobs, but it’s only govt. jobs they ever come up with and it is at the expense of free market jobs.

Note to Govt. workers: Govt. is not your Mommy and Daddy, get your butts out there and contribute something to society. Leeching isn’t really working.

Tax, Tax, Tax, Spend, Spend, Spend…

Ironic they can’t seem to do a good job at much of anything they do, except propose new taxes for us to pony up…

How much of our $1.00 do WE get to keep, after all taxes considered? Anyone????

(if you drive a car, car;) – I’ll tax the street;

(if you try to sit, sit;) – I’ll tax your seat;

(if you get too cold, cold;) – I’ll tax the heat;

(if you take a walk, walk;) – I’ll tax your feet.

Part of the the Taxman song, Beatles sang over 40 years ago. Sad part is, is that it is becoming more of a possibility.

They already tax the street (vehicle lic.) there is taxes on heat (franchise tax). Guess that leaves only our feet and seat. While they are taxing my seat they can also kiss my anatomy that touches that seat!!!

You would think the taxes we pay for those streets would actually, or at least in part, go to REPAIR those streets. Honestly, the streets in this county (and most of the State) are not SAFE…literally!