TREASURE ISLAND — In an effort to bring in more money, city commissioners are expected to approve a 5 percent business tax increase.
The tax, applied to all those with occupational licenses in Treasure Island, would increase on an average of $4 per category, City Manager Reid Silverboard said. It is expected the tax boost will generate an extra $3,245.
But in a 4-1 vote Tuesday on the first reading of the ordinance approving an increase, Commissioner Carol Coward voted against the measure.
"We shouldn't increase this just because we can," said Coward, referring to a state statute that allows cities to raise taxes on businesses up to 5 percent every other year.
But Commissioner Alan Bildz said the last time the city raised the tax was in 2009 and, while he had rejected previous attempts to raise it, "this time it is time to do it."
Commissioner Phil Collins said 5 percent sounds much bigger than the actual amount businesses will pay. He pointed out that Bildz is a small business owner in the city and is in favor of the increase.
With the increase, the city expects to collect about $68,136 for fiscal year 2014-2015.
Architects, for example, who now pay $84.30 a year, would pay $88.52 under the new schedule. Boat and yacht brokers, who now pay $101.65 annually, will now pay $106.73.