By Naomi Hatch —
“This is an item that we’ve discussed in some length on different occasions and in different council meetings,” said Taylor Mayor Fay Hatch of business licensees and temporary use permit fees at the April 4 town council meeting.
“We’ve never come to a conclusion or census of what we want to do here,” said the mayor as he opened the discussion.
In response to a question posed by Councilman Gary Solomon, building official Jeff Johnson explained that there are exclusions for temporary use permit fees for those having booths within an event such as the Sweet Corn Festival.
Johnson explained the two different types of permits. The temporary use permit is the one a woodcutter would get. The other is a peddler’s license, which has three categories: a peddler, who is someone who goes from house to house, place to place or street to street, conveying or transporting goods, wares or merchandise for sale, or making sales and delivering articles to purchasers; a solicitor, who is any person who solicits, takes or attempts to take orders for the sale of goods, including magazines, or for a service to be performed in the future, and includes any person using or occupying a building, motor vehicle, trailer, etc., for the primary purpose of exhibiting samples and taking orders for future delivery; and a transient merchant, who is any person, whether a resident of the city or not, who engages in a temporary business of selling and delivering goods, such as a photographer or jewelry salesperson.
A temporary use permit will cost $50 and is good for three months.
The peddler’s license has different costs for different types, but Johnson noted that a carnival pays $200 for a seven-day permit.
“I look at the Town of Taylor; I’m not concerned with any other towns. I’m very concerned with Taylor,” said Councilman Shawn Palmer, noting the big four purposes of the town are to keep water in the pipes, to keep sewer running downhill, to keep roads in repair and to provide emergency services.
“The number one is what is the very best for the Town of Taylor,’” said Palmer. “I hate to penalize somebody if it doesn’t do something for the big four or huge one.”
Palmer said that he did not feel good about charging fees to a woodcutter or those growing sweet corn.
He expressed concern regarding the large fees charged to sell food at the festivals, noting that fee cuts into profits.
Councilman Alan Ramage pointed out that vendors at the festivals make money, and gave his in-laws as an example.
Ramage suggested they could resolve the temporary use permit at this meeting.
“I wouldn’t recommend removing the peddler fee,” said Town Attorney Sterling Solomon.
Town Manager Eric Duthie explained that fees such as those for the carnival are higher because they do background checks on all employees, noting they have found sex offenders.
Town staff members were asked to prepare a resolution for a change of some fees for the next council meeting.
“What are the benefits of having a business license ordinance on the books?” asked Vice Mayor Jane Lee.
Johnson pointed out that if there were a business license, he would have an opportunity to educate people at the time they get the license rather than having to visit businesses individually.
“I had three calls this week from people wanting to know if they need a business license,” said Johnson. “I get those all the time.”
It was also pointed out that the Snowflake-Taylor Tourism Committee is in the process of printing a map with all businesses identified, and they are unable to find many businesses in Taylor because of no records. The Snowflake-Taylor Chamber of Commerce would also use this information to promote businesses.
Duthie explained that the State of Arizona requires a minimum $10 fee for a year.
After discussion on the business license, staff was asked to have recommendations on how to implement it with minimal costs.
In other business, Councilman Solomon reported on a potash meeting held in Holbrook last month that he attended. He said the heads of two companies presented the program, discussing construction and the actual mining. They have done a lot of drilling and are still drilling, as well as working on leases with ranchers in the area. “It looks to me like it’s pretty much on the go,” he said. “It looks promising.”
Vice Mayor Lee said she attended the meeting in Snowflake, stating, “I was very impressed with his (Pat Avery’s) presentation and it could be a big benefit to all the communities in the area.”
Duthie noted that over the weekend Passport Potash officials received a report they were waiting for, explaining that the report was needed before they could start doing anything, and that it validates the potash companies thinking that this could be the largest producer in the world.
Duthie suggested a decision on paying the Town of Snowflake the portion charged for Taylor on the Navajo County jail fees, noting, “The situation changed in the last 36 hours.” Duthie explained that Navajo County reached an agreement with the U.S. Marshal’s office to house prisoners, which should help cover the deficit caused when the county lost the federal Bureau of Prisons contract. They will receive $10 a day less for each prisoner with the US Marshal’s contract than they were with the BOP contract. He felt there could be some bargaining with the county now because the fees passed on to the cities and towns were to cover the deficit.