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License fees go up 300 percent
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 13 August 2008 13:35

It’s going to get a little more expensive to do business in Camp Verde.

The Camp Verde Town Council tentatively approved a measure last week that will raise the price of an annual business license from $10 to $30.

The price has been $10 since the fee was established in the early 1990s, said Town Clerk Debbie Barber. After examining how much it actually costs for the town’s staff to produce a license for a business, Barber said a $30 fee would be more accurate.

The license is required each year for any business that operates inside town limits, Mayor Tony Gioia said, as a way to ensure that every business is in compliance with building, zoning and fire codes.

That includes everything from a fast-food restaurant to someone who may give piano lessons out of the home.

Councilman Bob Kovacovich argued that the town didn’t need to send people into the homes of its residents with regular inspections.

“That’s just big brother getting into peoples’ business,” Kovacovich said.
Barber said that the licenses were important to give the town the right to conduct an inspection if a safety concern ever did arise.

To lessen the impact of required annual inspections, Town Attorney Bill Sims said he would work up some language in the town code that would give the town the right to inspections without making them absolutely mandatory every year.

The new rules add some teeth to the enforcement of the town code, leaving it to the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office to enforce compliance.

Kovacovich also said he didn’t believe the cost of the licenses should increase for the sake of business owners.

Councilwoman Norma Garrison countered that if the business owners didn’t pay to cover what it cost the town to issue a license, it would be unfair to ask the taxpayers to make up the difference.

Mark Lineberger can be reached at 567-3342, or e-mail
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