County business license ordinance repealed to fix contractor revenue problem

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, July 27, 2021

A new Boyle County ordinance regulating business licenses was repealed before it was even made official so that magistrates can refine the section pertaining to contractors which would have adversely affected the county’s revenue if left intact.

County Administrator Julie Wagner said at a previous meeting magistrates voted to accept the ordinance which requires all businesses in the county, not located in the city limits of Danville, Junction City, or Perryville, to purchase business licenses.

Wagner said when she wrote the ordinance, her intention was to charge an annual $50 license fee for every business. But magistrates “changed so much stuff” in the ordinance, including making business licenses a one-time purchase.

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When she began to make the changes the magistrates wanted, she discovered “by eliminating the annual contractor license, which we’ve had forever, we’re actually losing money for the county.”

She explained that when general contractors get their licenses, they also have to submit all of their subcontractors who also are required to purchase their licenses. If the contractors only had to purchase a one-time license “then we wouldn’t know where the subs are,” working within the county, Wagner said.

“There’s no way to ever find these people without the contractor license program.”

She added that not having the annual licenses, and a way to track and collect subcontractors’ net profit and payroll taxes, it would have caused “a negative impact” on the county budget’s bottom line.

When Wagner explained the problem to the magistrates they voted to repeal the ordinance. “We didn’t really understand it, I guess,” Magistrate Tom Ellis said.

Wagner is now working on “cleaning up” the business license ordinance which will be brought before the court for approval once again.