Mayor says he wants to help businesses with license fees

Reporter: Melissa McKinney

Montgomery, AL (WSFA) -- Mike Henig of Henig Furs shouldn't notice a change in his license fee.

"We've always been paying our business license based on sales and service. The rate that we're paying now is the same it was last year," says Henig.

That's because the category his business falls under isn't changing.

But for some it is.

"The city council looked at business license fees for almost a year based on issues that had come down from the state where all the business license categories had been unified throughout the state--which affected our business license fees and fee structure in Montgomery," says Acting Mayor Charles Jinright.

Some businesses could see huge increases because of the state's reorganization of business categories and the fact that Montgomery was using a 45 year old city ordinance to set rates.

"We were way overdue to do this. As a result of that, the council and the mayor decided to go in and look at it and revise it all at one time and try to get it to a point where it was up to date--totally up to date--and that's what created the issue that we're in right now," says Jinright.

But it's an issue the city is trying to make work for entrepreneurs. With many businesses complaining it may significantly hurt their bottom line, they're doing everything they can to help, including giving them 30 days to appeal.

"We want to be fair. It's not a penalty to the businesses. It's to be fair. And that's all we're trying to do," says Jinright.

And for Henig, he says even if his license were to go up, he doesn't mind.

"I'm paying roughly $4,800 dollars here for our business license. And if it goes up, based on that, we'll be glad to pay it."