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Decatur considering several revisions to occupational tax code


Decatur considering several revisions to occupational tax code

Decatur City Hall.
Decatur City Hall

Decatur City Hall

Decatur city police officers could issue citations to business owners delinquent on their occupational taxes and lawyers can be reported to the bar association under proposed changes to city code.

Occupational taxes for restaurants would also increase by 48 percent.

City Commissioners will consider the changes at their regular meeting on Oct. 5. It begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at city hall, located at 509 North McDonough Street. All meetings are open to the public.

The amendments are among several recommended changes to city’s occupational tax code.

“The amendments are an attempt to consolidate several recommendations from the Revenue Division, City Manager’s Office, and City Attorney into a single, comprehensive proposal,” a memo from Assistant City Manager Andrea Arnold says.

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Arnold says the ordinance also revises the categories for occupational taxes, and restaurants will notice a difference.

“The biggest impacts based on the most recent IRS statistics would be reassignment of restaurants from tax class 2 ($230) to tax class 4 ($340) and tax decreases for construction, arts, entertainment, and recreation-related businesses,” Arnold said.

Under the changes, police officers would have the authority to enforce the city’s occupational tax codes.

“City police officers are hereby authorized to issue citations for violations of this article,” the proposed ordinance revision says. “Each citation shall state the specific provision allegedly violated. It is made the further duty of such designated officers to inspect all occupation tax certificates issued by the city as often as in their judgment it may seem necessary to determine whether the occupation tax certificate held is proper for the business sought to be transacted hereunder.”

People violating the law, except for lawyers, will be subject to a penalty of up to $500 if the changes to the ordinance are approved by City Commissioners.

The proposed revisions also say that, “Lawyers who fail to pay the occupation tax by the payment deadline may be reported by the City to the State Bar of Georgia.”

Under the changes, the city will waive a $25 fee to business owners who pay their occupational taxes within the first 30 days of receiving the bill.

For the full list of proposed changes, click here.