Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

January 9, 2013

Occupational license fee amended

CATLETTSBURG — Boyd County Fiscal Court amended its occupational license fee and net profit ordinance on Tuesday, adding a $100 fee for a business license, more reporting requirements for individuals and setting penalties for those who fail to comply.

The fiscal court declared an emergency to exist and to enact the changes immediately.

A business license has cost $100 in Boyd County for some time, but the amount was not specified in the text of the ordinance until now, according to officials. The ordinance was also amended to add several provisions requiring businesses and individuals to provide additional documentation of earnings used to calculate the tax.

The amendment is the second to Boyd County’s ordinance in six months. In August, the fiscal court added penalties to the ordinance aimed at those who fail to obtain a license or pay net profits taxes.

Boyd County enacted its original ordinance in 2001. Revenues collected from the net profits, business license and payroll taxes are the major source of operating funds for county government. Those funds have dwindled during the last several years in the wake of the recession, falling from $2.1 million in 2008-09 to $793,039 for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Changes were needed to ensure fair and accurate collection of occupational license fees, officials said. The emergency reading, according to a signed statement by Judge-Executive William “Bud” Stevens, was necessary “due to the fact that annual reconciliations for 2012 shall be due in a few weeks.”

“Times are tough,” said County Attorney C. Philip Hedrick. “The fiscal court and judge (executive) just want to make sure we’re getting all the revenue we can, and full collection ensures that we can do that.”

Under the amended ordinance, a business must obtain a license by Dec. 31 of the previous year. However, the deadline was extended in 2013 to March 1. License fees for new businesses are prorated depending on when the business is founded, decreasing $25 per quarter. The license fee is applied against the annual net business profit fee of 1 percent. A late fee of $25 is applied to businesses who fail to renew their licenses within 30 days of their previous licenses’ expiration date.

Also, individuals who pay their own occupational license fees will now be required to submit annual reconciliation forms by Feb. 28 of the following year, along with their W-2s and annual tax returns. And businesses are now required to submit copies of their federal income tax returns and all supporting statements and schedules at the time of filing annual occupational license tax returns with the county.

“The reporting requirements for those that self-report were changed to more accurately disclose the amount they owe by their own calculations,” Hedrick said. “There are some out there that do self-report, and the court doesn’t feel like that is fair to those that have their taxes taken out automatically.”

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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