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Auburn City Council members are considering passing an ordinance to create a new procedure for the revocation of business licenses.
According to the proposed ordinance discussed at a Tuesday city council meeting, a business license could be revoked by the Auburn City Council if the continued operation of the business would constitute a probable danger to the public health, safety or welfare of Auburn citizens; if the business is violating a city ordinance, code or statute of the state; violating penal or criminal laws; or filing false and misleading information to obtain a business license from the city.
The ordinance didn't receive unanimous consent from city council members Tuesday night, so it will be considered again at Auburn's next meeting on Tuesday, November 1.
"There's never a goal to revoke anyone's business license, and, as you heard earlier, businesses are very important – but we also have a lot of law-abiding businesses that are remitting their taxes in a timely manner or even paying penalties to do so, and we have some businesses that are not," Megan McGowen Crouch, Auburn City Manager, told the Auburn City Council during their Tuesday meeting. "There's not a level playing field. There's a whole process that has to be followed if we don't have this in place in which we must follow to actually get tax money that was collected that is due to the city. That's part of it. There's also a criminal nature. There could be things going on that are going on through the business, not outside of the business, that has to be addressed."
Ninety-two cities in Alabama already have the same provision on the books, including nine of the top ten most populated cities.
"We're the exception, not the rule," Crouch said.
According to the proposed ordinance, any business owner facing a license revocation could contest the decision in a hearing before the city council.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.
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