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Council Raises Business Fees to Narrow City Budget Gap


MONTEREY PARK — Despite warnings that it could drive businesses out of Monterey Park, the City Council on Monday hiked the cost of permits, building plan checks and other services.

Among the new fees and increases, effective April 1, are:

* A $120 bill to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department for the daily cost of booking each suspect on county warrants by the Monterey Park Police Department.

* $210 added to the cost of a commercial conditional-use permit, which raises the fee from $640 to $850.

* Home-based businesses must pay $50 a year for an inspection to ensure they comply with city codes.

* Grocery stores will have to pay $25 for each shopping cart impounded by the city, with a $5 fee for each day the cart remains in the city yard.

Altogether, the new fees and increases are expected to bring the city $45,000 for the fiscal year that ends June 30, said Denise Bates, acting management services director.

Last month, the city slashed $342,250 by paring programs and freezing vacant positions. Further cuts will be necessary to close an estimated $675,000 gap between revenue and expenditures in the city's $35-million budget.

Councilman Fred Balderrama accused his colleagues of stifling business. "It's always, 'Let's tax the businessman because he's here to do business in Monterey Park. Tax him through the nose,' " Balderrama said. "How much is enough for the businessman in Monterey Park?"

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