Linden may tweak its city business license rules

Published 8:48 pm Friday, January 21, 2011

LINDEN – Linden City leaders began discussions this week regarding its current business license fees as they pertain to peddlers.

The current structure offers a much greater break to individuals selling merchandise on a temporary basis than it does to established businesses.

“We want to make sure that structure is fair to our business owners who are paying taxes,” Linden Mayor Mitzi Gates said. “It is not that we don’t want theses peddlers to come. We just don’t want them to get a break that we can’t give our brick and mortar businesses. Our merchants are Linden.”

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The current structure charges temporary sellers $15 for a one-day license or $30 for a 30-day license. A yearlong license is $360. That is a marked break over the fee charged to established businesses, which have to pay a sum based on their gross receipts.

“Everybody is trying to do everything they can, not just in our town, but in other towns, to keep our merchants afloat,” Gates said.

In addition to the price break granted to temporary peddlers, there are other economic issues. Many of the peddlers in question are out-of-town merchants whose sales do not benefit the city as their profits will not be kept in Linden.

“I think it’s a big concern for the council,” Gates said. “We don’t want to penalize Linden merchants in any way. If we’ve got those products here, then we want people to buy from the merchants that are here.”

The council tabled the discussion until its next meeting in view of finding potential solutions.

Other items presented at the council meeting Tuesday included a project by the Quest Club of Linden. The club is selling Linden T-shirts for $12 each to help raise money for the clock tower project. The T-shirts are on sale at Linden City Hall and each of the restaurants in town.

The council also learned that Advanced Disposal has completed its transfer station and is now accepting materials not picked up by the company’s trucks for $45 per ton. Those materials include shingles, construction materials and the like. The station is still not accepting tires or batteries.