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South Valley Journal

Riverton City eliminates business licensing fees

Aug 01, 2018 10:06AM ● By Jana Klopsch

“By eliminating the business licensing fee, we want to send a clear message that Riverton is open for business," said Mayor Trent Staggs. (Riverton City Communications)

By Mariden Williams | [email protected] 

Riverton businesses will no longer be charged licensing fees, following the Riverton City Council’s final approval of the city’s 2018–2019 fiscal year budget and fee schedule. Businesses will still need to be licensed by the city, but there will no longer be a cost associated with it. 

The move, the first of its kind in Salt Lake County, essentially makes it free to do business in the city. The change took effect on July 1, for both new business licenses and renewals. 

“We understand the value our local businesses provide to our city and our residents,” said Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs. “By eliminating the business licensing fee, we want to send a clear message that Riverton is open for business.” 

The fee removal doesn’t extend to businesses dealing in alcohol or fireworks. It also does not cover the commercial building inspection fee required for new applicants or conditional use permit fees; business owners will still need to pay for those. 

A state law passed in 2017 restricted cities' ability to charge a fee for certain home-based businesses, and this change in Riverton that Staggs first proposed this past May, takes it a step further. 

“I philosophically agreed with the move by the Utah State Legislature to eliminate business licensing fees for home-based businesses last year,” said Staggs. “I’m thrilled that we are extending that benefit to our commercial businesses right here in Riverton.” 

Commercial business licenses in Riverton had been set at $200 annually and brought in an estimated revenue of $90,000 to $95,000 per year to the city. The loss in revenue from the fees will be offset by a slight increase in annual sales tax revenue the city has experienced this year due to increased economic activity. Given this offset, there will be no reduction in city services as a result of the fee elimination. 

“We’re excited to move in this direction,” said Councilman Sheldon Stewart. “By eliminating licensing fees for businesses, we are eliminating a barrier for them to conduct business in our city. For anyone considering opening a new business here in Salt Lake County, I’d encourage them to consider Riverton.”