Meadow Lake businesses and residents will have an opportunity to offer their feedback to help the city review its business license bylaw.
The City of Meadow Lake is asking people to complete a survey on the bylaw and future proposals.
Staff especially wants to hear from regular businesses as well as those that require a license.
The surveys are due back by Sept. 24. Comments to the city are due by Oct. 5. The city will also hold a community open house on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. in the arena lobby to further discuss the issue.
"We really tried to up the ante with how we communicate with people in our community," Mayor Gary Vidal said. "This is one of those ways we thought we could go get some feedback from our business community, to see what they thought about this whole process and whether it has value or merit to it."
He said the city will examine how it can improve the license bylaw, or possibly even eliminate it.
One of the questions the city is also looking at is whether the business license program should be expanded to cover all businesses.
"We're looking at the whole gamut of options," Vidal said. "We're trying to engage people and get some feedback. That's all it is. We have a process in place now and it has been that way for a long time... We want to go out, talk to folks, and we'll make a decision from there."
Vidal suggests perhaps these business licenses may help in the "levelling of the playing field,” because some businesses are not paying the higher tax rate for commercial properties that others pay.
Business licenses in Meadow Lake, on average, cost about $300 per year, depending on the type of business. The bylaw hasn't been reviewed in a number of years. City staff believed it was a good time to find out what the public wants at the same time.
"People operating out of a commercial-taxed property do not pay a business license [fee]," Vidal added. "The question would be: Do we do something different that would provide a higher degree of service to everybody?"
He added the city is trying to gauge people’s responses and see the “broader perspectives," so council can make an informed decision when it reviews the bylaw.
The mayor added after all the feedback is gathered and the open house is completed, administration will return to council with a report on its findings.
"I suspect it would be something we consider this fall as we move into the budget cycle for 2019," Vidal said.
The survey can be accessed here.
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