Proposed business licenses for the unincorporated areas of the county caused sparks to fly at the Cherokee County Commission meeting Monday.
Meeting observers questioned what the purpose of the resolution might be and what kind of tax raises the resolution might possibly bring.
“I’m a taxpayer and you’re getting ready to tax me, you’re getting ready to tax me, you’re not getting ready to tax you, you’re getting ready to tax me, I’m a businessman here, and I’m telling you, that when you’re getting ready to tax me that should be done in open,” Larry Hiatt, publisher of the Columbus News-Report said during the meeting.
Commissioner Richard Hildebrand stressed this would not be a tax increase.
“Larry if it eases your mind, you’re not going to be taxed, it’s not a tax, we’re not going to tax you for being a business person,” Hildebrand said.
The official draft for the new resolution proposes some requirements for business licenses in the county. Requirements such as a small fee, yearly renewal, and a check on the credentials of the business owner. According to commissioners the purpose is to help aid and protect the welfare of citizens of Cherokee County. Commissioners said this is a way to help keep track of what businesses are coming into the area, if they are operating with clean and safe conditions and to make sure the businesses are legitimate and will not cause problems for Cherokee County citizens.
The only fees proposed are for door to door canvassers which would be $10 per day, and new businesses which would be charged $1.
Licenses would have to be renewed each year and businesses would have them on display or to show them when requested. The proposal was read through and then discussion and decisions were tabled until next week’s commission meeting.
The commissioners decided Robert Lucian would be responsible for paying for $2,100 worth of fencing and labor to finish a fence between his land and land owned by John Gaither. The commissioners saw the fence at last week’s commission meeting and decided Monday, after hearing from Lucian’s brother Jim and from John Gaither and his representative, to make Lucian responsible for the other half of the fence.
Mid-month accounts for Cherokee County were also approved at Monday’s meeting.