Slight Increase Seen in Lakeland Business License Fees

If you do business in Lakeland, it looks like the annual fee for your city occupational license is going up — but in most cases only by a few dollars and you won’t see the higher fee for about a year.

The City Commission on Tuesday approved on first reading an ordinance that increases fees an average of 5 percent. Final passage is expected Sept. 21.

The proposal (scroll down to see it) sets fees for hundreds of occupations and businesses. While the amounts vary widely, a typical fee will rise from the current $115.75 to $121.50.

State law empowers cities that collect business license fees to raise them 5 percent every two years, but it’s been three or four years since Lakeland has increased rates, Community Development Director Jim Studiale said.

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The new fee schedule is expected to add an addition $70,000 to $80,000 a year to the city’s general fund, he said.

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce has taken no position on the increase in fees, President Cory Skeates said.