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Bid to Raise Fees Dropped

November 09, 1989|JONATHAN GAW | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LA VERNE — A proposal to almost double business licensing fees was withdrawn from the City Council agenda after nearly 50 business owners protested at Monday night's meeting.

After the city received about 335 protests from business owners--who furnish almost 46% of the city's sales tax revenues--the La Verne Chamber of Commerce requested that the council withdraw the proposal, which would have raised business license fees 75% across the board. The proposal would also have imposed license fees on operations conducting business in La Verne but not located in the city.

The council voted unanimously to withdraw the proposal.

Carla Sullivan, president of the chamber, which originated the idea, blamed the hostile reception on a lack of understanding of the proposal's benefits.

But many business owners said they thought that the proposal was an unnecessary intrusion into their operations. Others thought that its benefits would be minimal.

The proposal would have provided the funds for, among other things, the development of a high-profile image for the city, the scheduling of major promotions and the organization of shopping centers.

Sullivan said the withdrawn proposal will be discussed at a meeting of the chamber's board Nov. 20, although no plans have been made for it to be reintroduced.

In her statement to the council, Sullivan said she hopes to work with business owners who opposed the plan to develop a proposal that would be acceptable to all.

City Council members and business owners raised concerns that some businesses would benefit more than others, but until last week little opposition had surfaced and most council members were amenable to the proposal.

But a campaign organized by Dick Thompson, owner of La Verne Glass & Screen, in which more than 250 preprinted postcards opposing the increase were sent to city officials, appeared to turn the tide.

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