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Birmingham City Councilors approve reduction in business license fees

Officials Anticipate New Wave of Business Ownership

The City of Birmingham is expanding opportunities for economic growth in more ways than one. Business owners are being encouraged to establish their companies in the Magic City with the recent announcement of a decrease in business license fees. When fees were doubled in 2008, the disparity between the professional licenses for attorneys, accountants, doctors, optometrists, real estate appraisers, veterinary surgeons, health practitioners, engineers or surveyors, court reporters, insurance adjusters, manufacturers/fabricators became the highest fee for any business type. The City of Birmingham Director of Finance, Tom Barnett said he hopes that as revenue grows, more relief can be offered to other taxpayers of a different profession in the near future.

“In doing our research on this issue, we found that these were the highest fees of business licenses charged to professions in the City of Birmingham, Barnett said. “The decrease in fees puts us in line with most taxpayers in other municipalities.”

This new reduction in fees brings the current fee from eight-tenths of 1 percent of gross receipts to four-tenths of 1 percent of gross receipts. The fees were increased for various types of contractors increasing the current lowest business rate of $200 to the next lowest business rate of one-10th of 1 percent of gross receipts.

Councilor Marcus Lundy, Jr., Chair of the Economic Development Committee said he is optimistic of the changes taking place in business license fee adjustments as they present a profitable package to professionals in this category.

“We strive to get the best representation of a variety of businesses here in the City of Birmingham,” Lundy said. “We have to begin to sweeten their stay as we move forward and offer package deals, this decrease is the beginning of tipping that scale.”

The new fees will go into effect January 1, 2016. For more on how this change is already working to have an impact on the business community, please view the video below to hear from a local business owner who was looking to close his business, but instead had a change of mind.

To view video: CLICK HERE

This article is a contribution from Chiara Morrow ( in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.