City Attorney Kurt Voss will begin the process of taking legal action against more than two dozen St. Clair businesses after he was forwarded a list naming those which have not obtained their 2013 operating licenses.
The board of aldermen approved the action during its Tuesday meeting. In all, the list contains 28 businesses. Two businesses have since paid their $50 to obtain a license renewal.
The deadline for businesses within the city limits to obtain their operating license was Jan. 31.
The unanimously approved motion directs Voss first to send a letter to the businesses in violation saying that if they do not obtain their license within another 30 days, legal action will be taken.
Also on Tuesday night, the aldermen approved an ordinance amending Chapter 13, Section 8 of the city’s code of ordinances regarding penalties for failing to purchase or renew a business license.
“This is just a cleanup ordinance,” City Administrator Rick Childers said. “There have been changes by the Legislature to its (Missouri) statutes, and this just changes ours to coincide with the state’s.”
The amended ordinance states that “any person, company, firm or corporation or other business licensee ... which shall fail to purchase or renew a previously purchased business license on or before Jan. 31 of each year shall be subject to a penalty for late payment of said fee of 5 percent for each month or portion of a month that said license fee remains unpaid up to a maximum of 25 percent on the aggregate in addition to any other penalty prescribed by law.”
The new ordinance also states that any violations will be deemed a misdemeanor and upon conviction “shall be punished by a fine of not less than $10 or more than $500 in addition to any other penalties prescribed herein. Each day of failure to comply or that such violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.”
The business also can be ordered to cease operations “until such business obtains a license and pays all applicable delinquent fees and fines.”
The businesses in violation at the time the ordinance was passed on Tuesday are AFI Automotive & Muffler, Basic Pest Control, Dolan Realty, Excel Temporary Services, Gibby’s, US Bank, K&C’s Timeless Treasures, Pelton Plumbing & Electrical, Shane’s Joint, Green Light Auto Sales, Tigris Auto Sales, Cosmetology College of Franklin County, Domino’s Pizza, Firehouse Signs & Design, Woody’s Plumbing & Heating, McCullough’s Cleaners, Par-Way Tryson Co., Yo Taxi Cab Co. LLC, The Sports Exchange, Altered Images, Cuts & Curls, Dynaquip Controls Corp., The Flip Flop Shop, Karen’s Corner Closet, McDonald’s of St. Clair, Patton’s Nursery LLC, River’s Edge Products and Best Deal Motors.
City Collector Lynne Huff told The Missourian that US Bank’s and River’s Edge $50 license renewal fees were received since Tuesday night’s meeting, but that 26 remain out of compliance. Some of the businesses may no longer be in operation.
A year ago at this time, there were 64 businesses that had not renewed their licenses, records showed.
Last year, Childers initiated compiling a delinquent license list after several businesses were not in compliance as late as early summer in 2011. He said a year ago that he wanted the city to establish a stricter policy in getting businesses to renew their licenses closer to the deadline.
Another related ordinance was passed by the aldermen on Tuesday. It confirms Section 13-52 of the code or ordinances keeping the same business license tax fee based on gross receipts.
“This is just another cleanup ordinance,” Childers said. “We annually have to reaffirm this.”
The ordinance reads that “this ordinance expresses the city’s intent to keep its utility gross tax receipts the same anytime in the future if there would be an increase of greater than 7 percent to a utility rate subject to the tax.”