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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Business Fee Hikes Go To Council Again Increases Expected To Generate $219,000 For City If Approved

A proposal to raise business fees makes an encore appearance before the Spokane City Council on Tuesday after a narrow defeat two weeks ago.

The ordinance would bump business license fees by $10, from $50 to $60, and fees businesses pay per employee by $1. The base peremployee fee varies according to a business’ size.

Increasing the fees would add $219,000 to the city’s bank account. They last were increased in 1982.

The council first considered the proposal Dec. 19 during a vote on the 1995 budget, but the emergency ordinance failed by one vote.

An emergency ordinance, which goes into effect immediately, requires five votes for approval. Three council members - Orville Barnes, Chris Anderson and Joel Crosby - voted against the fee increase.

This time, the council plans to vote on the measure as a regular ordinance, which doesn’t go into effect for 30 days and requires only four votes for approval.

Also Tuesday, the council will consider a land-use amendment that would allow secondhand stores in local business zones.

Local business zones allow neighborhood activities such as barber and hobby shops, florists, banks, jewelers and drug stores. Secondhand stores have been restricted to commercial business zones, which are generally located along arterials and serve several neighborhoods.

Because today is a holiday, the council meeting was moved back a day to Tuesday.

It begins at 6 p.m. in council chambers of City Hall, W808 Spokane Falls Boulevard. The briefing starts an hour earlier than usual, at 4:30 p.m., in the fifth-floor conference room.

xxxx Meeting The Council meets Tuesday at 6 p.m. in City Hall

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