A heated discussion Tuesday night at the Mexico Beach City Council Workshop looked into increasing the business license tax. According to one council member, the current rate has not been touched since the late 80's.
"I cant explain to a citizen, a property owner, why we would raise their millage rate to offset revenue shortfall, but we're unwilling to touch business license fees since 1987," says City Council Woman Tanya Castro.
Other council Member like Jack Mullen seem to oppose the idea. "This particular tax, that we now know it to be a tax, is levied on the people who live here and work here and provide us with services why should they be singled out to pay more," says Mullen.
The Council discussed the possibility of increasing the license tax on Mexico Beach Business owners.
Citizens who attended the meeting seemed to object the license tax increase, as well. "There are certain things like the millage that goes up, it hits everybody. There's nothing everybody can do about it. But just picking out a little town's business that's struggling and say you're going to pay another ten dollars a years. That's getting kind of petty," said a Mexico Beach business owner at the meeting.
Also discussed at Tuesday's workshop was increasing building permit fees as well as a possible charge for using the boat ramp.
Council Members also discussed the new Department of Public Safety Building.
The City Council is in the process of reviewing proposals for the new building which would house agencies like the police department and the fire and emergency services.
The board also discussed a possible temporary solution to house these agencies and maybe even city hall until the new facilities are finished. The temporary location discussed is a former catholic church located on 15 Street for a lease/rent agreement or potentially a lease/purchase agreement.
Mayor Cathy says the current Public Safety Department Building is aged and experiences constant flooding and mildew.