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Marion, other Black Belt cities consider business license fee increase for new year

Both the cities of Marion and Greensboro are considering business license fee increases for the coming year. The chance doesn’t come along often, explained Greensboro City Clerk Lorrie Cook at her city’s August 9 council meeting.
“The state regulates how much we can charge,” Cook said. “We have not had an increase since 2007.” Cook said the state sets the rates according to inflation and other factors, and cities are only allowed to increase their rates the year the state updates its index. So, unsurprisingly, she said, many other Alabama cities are following suit.
In Marion on Monday night, City Clerk Laura Hinton presented the same proposal to her city’s mayor and council.
“How do we compare to other cities?” asked Greensboro Councilmember Scott Naylor at his city’s council meeting last Tuesday.
“Most cities are doing the same thing,” said Cook. “You can only do it the year the index increases, so most cities are.”
Cook said that the rate went up in 2007 from $10 per license to $12. The current state rate increase would allow cities to levy a $14 fee. She recommended Greensboro raise its fee to $14. Monday night, Hinton also suggested Marion raise its fee to the new $14 rate.
In Greensboro, the proposed rate increase has the ordinance number 22-10. Monday, Aug. 9 was considered to have been its first reading before the council. It will potentially have a second reading at the next council meeting, following by notice and a vote, in the next few months. Marion’s increase will likely follow a similar timeline.

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