Op-ed: Lower business license fees

The following letter was sent by former City Councilman Jim Smith, who works as a mortgage adviser, to the current council:

Council members,

Just a quick word from “the street” about Lynnwood taxation.

Under the old business tax rate we paid $103 plus $10.50 per employee.  We had nine employees and now 13.  Our tax burden has gone from $197 per year for a business license to $1208.  To put it in terms that we all understand, if the property tax on your home is $3500 per year, an equivalent increase would be that you now pay would be around $18,000… not an easy burden for an individual to pay.

Additionally, services have been drastically reduced.  So the City is charging more for less.  Smaller businesses are finding alternatives to Lynnwood.

Quite candidly, Lynnwood is no longer business friendly…but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Reducing business head tax to $39 would be a big step to show business that Lynnwood cares. Small business is the backbone of American business.  Please move to protect them in Lynnwood.

Jim Smith

Would you like to have your say? Send an email to lynnwoodtoday@gmail.com.

  1. Jim is right on.  Lynnwood will continue to be the ugly sister who never goes on a date unless something happens.   We have homeless people sleeping in council chambers and empty business pads.  What part of failed economy growth is not evident. The future of Lynnwood looks a lot like Dave’s Donuts.  An empty shell. 

  2. So I go to one of the local “Fast” food restaurants in Lynnwood. I choose carefully off the “Dollar Menu”, for it is only lunch, and I need it quick and cheap.
    One buck for a chicken sandwich, a buck for a large coffee with two creams, and a splurge of $1.79 for a medium fries. $3.79 for lunch, plus 40c for WA State Sales Tax.
    Total $4.19 for Lunch.
    But wait, the Lynnwood Business License went up 570% (from $85 to $485 for 5 employees), so they added $23.88 to the meal.
    Now it is $28.07 for a lunch with three items off the Dollar Menu. $9.36 per item.
    Needless to say, it hurts all businesses in Lynnwood, and subsequently affects new small businesses, thinking of locating in Lynnwood.
    I agree with Jim … $39 per employee per year would be a fair head tax, if you can call it that.

    Warren b Funnell
    6333 – 212th Street SW Suite C
    Lynnwood WA 98036

  3. I agree with Warren and Jim. 

    There are many vacant business locations along Alderwood Mall Blvd.  I think it is partially a result of the high business license costs.

  4. I also agree with Jim, Warren, and John.
    I have seen too many businesses closed on both Alderwood Mall Blvd. & 196th and the buildings staying empty. 
    If business licenses are too high, they need to be adjusted.  The loss of local revenue and jobs lost due to businesses not willing open in Lynnwood is hurting our town.

  5. My built-from-scratch small business has been open 2 years. My annual Lynnwood business license just keeps going up and up! They charge extra for how many employees I have. How ridiculous is that? They should be happy I’m creating jobs and running a wholesome small business that brings thousands of families into Lynnwood from miles around and pay lots of sales tax. It’s like I’m being fined for having more employees. This city has NOT been small business friendly since day one. All the city seems to care about is the mall and big box stores. Which is too bad as small businesses are the engine of economic growth.

    Lizz Quain
    Mom to Aubrey & Gabriella, 5 year old twins, and
    PlayHappy Cafe LLC
    Formerly known as Playdate Cafe
    For little ones and their favorite grown-ups
    4114 198th Street SW, Suite 3, Lynnwood, Washington 98036
    cafe phone: (425) 582-7007


    CHECK OUT OUR 1ST ANNIVERSARY VIDEO! https://animoto.com/play/OmTsdMw0kEVHu2TrOC1l9g

    Winner of the 2013 Red Tricycle Seattle award for Most Awesome Indoor Playspace!
    Runner up for Most Awesome Family Restaurant & Cafe and Most Awesome Kid-Friendly Coffee Shop!
    Top finalist for Kids Birthday Party Spots and Mom-Run Business!

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    Ranked Top 3 Best Kids Menu in the 2014 King 5 TV Best of Western Washington awards!

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