Annual business license fee use debated
April 25, 2017
By Karen Caffarini
Hobart businesses could be required to pay for a business license on an annual basis, the proceeds of which would be used to pay for fire inspections.
Councilman Dave Vinzant, D-4th, said the inspection would be looking for safety- and fire-related hazards, which could be passed on to code enforcement.
"It would be up to the Board of Works (and Public Safety) to say we will revoke your license if violations are found," Vinzant said.
City Council members noted during a recent ordinance committee meeting that Hobart is one of just a few cities or towns in Northwest Indiana that doesn't require and charge businesses for a license.
"Many calls we get ask about business licenses. It's been a lost opportunity because they expect it," said the city's economic development director, Denarie Kane.
She said the license could serve not only as a check for fire use, but land use as well.
Vinzant said one question facing the council is how to decide what is a business. He said, for instance, if someone operates a beauty salon in their basement, it would need a business license.
"Whether the fire department does an inspection, is up to them," he said.
Another question was whether a landlord is considered a business owner.
inzant said the next step will be to call a meeting with department heads to get their feedback on the proposed ordinance.
Karen Caffarini is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.