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Woodinville business owners respond to proposed license fee

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman, Contributing Writer
Local business owners have mixed opinions about the business license program that the City Council proposed at its last meeting. Some oppose it as an unnecessary cost, but others think the financial burden would be insignificant and the money raised could benefit them.

“I don’t want to pay for anything more than I’m already paying for, but I do see the benefit,” said Erika Kiss, owner of Erika’z Hair Design.

Woodinville already requires all businesses to register annually, which is free, according to Ordinance 251. About 80 to 85 percent of Woodinville businesses are registered, said administrative director Jim Katica, but the policy isn’t enforced for businesses that fail to register.

Although Woodinville’s current business registration is free, that doesn’t mean it’s free to set up a business. All businesses must have a state business license, the cost of which depends on the type of business, the type of ownership, the type of employees, and several other factors. Businesses in unincorporated King County — not within any city’s limits — must also have a county business license.

Wes Case, owner of Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, opposed the business license and said it’s already “tough” for businesses to pay for current licenses.

Even if the money from the license was used for improvements that benefit businesses, “it should be borne by the citizens of the state or county, not the business owners,” Case said.

The proposed business license might cost a flat fee for all businesses, or it might be based on the number of employees, the square footage, or the type of business  — for example, retail vs. industrial. Neighboring cities calculate the business license fee in several different ways, Katica said at the April 16 City Council meeting.

Redmond bases its business license fee on the number of employees a business has. In Kirkland, the fee is based on a combination of the business’s revenue and number of employees. In Bothell, the fee is determined by the number of employees, the type of business and the size of the business in square feet.

Chris Griffin, owner of Spotlight Music, thinks the fee should be determined by the business’s revenue.

“A small business shouldn’t be penalized,” he said. “We’re pretty small, so that would make a difference.”

The money raised by the possible business license would give the city a new source of general fund revenue and could be used for services, capital improvements or economic development.

“There are costs associated with the business community which we’re not recovering now, and they kind of get a free ride,” Mayor Bernie Talmas said at the April 16 City Council meeting. “One’s infrastructure — particularly the recycling center. Other businesses that generate a lot of heavy truck traffic and tear up our roads — we get zero money from them if they don’t generate sales tax revenue for us. We supply law enforcement, which is a huge expense, and people sort of take that for granted, particularly businesses.”

Robb Anderson, owner of Northwest Trophy and Awards, said he supports a business license as long as the money raised by it is used to benefit businesses. Other business owners felt the same way.

“I think they should set it up so the business owners feel like they’re getting something out of it,” such as better signage to bring customers to businesses, Anderson said.

Jamie Peha, the managing director of Woodinville Wine Country, which represents more than 90 wineries, said a business license would be a “mixed bag” for Woodinville’s wineries, which already pay lots of fees to be open.

“Many of these businesses would probably feel like it’s another hit,” she said, but they would probably understand that Woodinville needs infrastructure to grow and to attract visitors. “I don’t think it would prohibit them from being here, or new wineries from coming here.”

She said wineries would likely prefer the money to be used for something that would benefit them, such as fixing traffic problems, improving outdated signs or creating a walkable downtown area to draw people to Woodinville.

Mike Rabas, owner of Woodinville Bicycle, said it would be “stupid” to pay a city business license when businesses already pay a state license, but he said the license wouldn’t affect his business. He hopes the money from the license won’t only be used to cover the costs of collecting it — a possibility that City Council discussed at their last meeting.

The City Council will continue to discuss the potential business license in the next few months before making a decision.

“If Woodinville chooses to do it, I certainly hope it’s a nominal cost,” Jeff Thomas, owner of Crossroad Sign, said. “Government and business leaders need to continue to make Woodinville a friendly place for business.”

Milk money to help homeless children

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Milk Money Month
Courtesy photo May is Milk Money Month for the Northshore Schools Foundation.
May is Milk Money Month for the Northshore Schools Foundation.  Milk bottles with a big-eyed cow label are placed in local businesses at cash registers, on counters or in offices during the month of May to collect spare change for the Foundations Advanced and Disadvantaged Learner Initiative.

Funds are used to buy school clothes, school supplies, school pictures and pay test fees, as well as other school related costs to help the over 180 homeless children in the district.

The Windermere Foundation will be generously doubling donations.

If you would like to reserve a milk bottle for your business or would like to make a gift to the campaign, contact the Northshore Schools Foundation at www.northshoreschoolsfoundation.org or call (425) 408-7680.

Duvall Farmers Market to open May 2

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

DUVALL — The mayor and members of the Duvall City Council will be ringing the opening bell at the farmers market May 2 at 3 p.m. and then will return to the market around 4:45 p.m., to talk about the importance of a farmers market to the community and local economy.

The Duvall Farmers Market (DFM) started in 2011 with five vendors.

In 2012 there were13 vendors.

This season the market will begin with 23 vendors (and several on the waiting list).

There will be 13 women-owned businesses in the market this year, three of which are new businesses getting their start at the DFM.

New this season will be EBT/SNAP (food stamps), allowing more access to fresh food to  community members.

This program is supported by a generous grant from the Snoqualmie Tribe.

DFM is also currently developing a farmer cooperative booth to help new farmers launch into the marketplace and gain the experience of marketing their products and a “youth booth” for young entrepreneurs.

In addition, DFM provides live music and artists to work with children every week.

For additional information, visit www.duvallfarmersmarket.org.

Seven Northshore students named finalists in State Library Literature Contest

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

BOTHELL — Seven Northshore students from Crystal Springs Elementary School, Shelton View Elementary School and Skyview Junior High School are state finalists in the Washington State Library and Library of Congress Letters About Literature contest.

Students wrote personal letters to their favorite author, living or dead, explaining how his or her work influenced their perspective on the world or themselves. Students wrote about fiction, nonfiction or poetry.

Northshore state finalists, grade level, school, chosen author and literary work:

Kayce Hsueh, grade 5, Crystal Springs Elementary School, author Andrew Clements, “No Talking”

Eilish Rhoades, grade 6, Shelton View Elementary School, author Jaqueline Sullivan, “Annie’s War”

Kendall Hawkins, grade 8, Skyview Junior High School, author David Peltzer, “A Man Named Dave”

Ben Holmes, grade 7, Skyview Junior High School, author J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Lord of the Rings”

Jenaya McCann, grade 8, Skyview Junior High School, author Lynne Cox, “Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long Distance Swimmer”

Madison Velasquez, grade 8, Skyview Junior High School, author Jodi Picoult, “My Sister’s Keeper”

Corey Willits, grade 8, Skyview Junior High School, author Rick Riordan, “The Sun of Neptune”

Nearly 100 schools, as well as Boys & Girls Clubs from around the state, had entries.

The contest ran from September to January.

This is the eighth year that the Washington State Library and the Office of Secretary of State have sponsored the competition as part of Washington Reads, which highlights books about Washington or the Pacific Northwest.

The project is also sponsored by The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

Northpointe Wags & Whiskers adoption event

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

Meet dogs, puppies, cats and kittens from across Washington in one location. Sunday, May 19, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Northpointe Animal Hospital located at the corner of Alderwood Mall Parkway and 164th Street in the Fred Meyer parking lot, Lynnwood, Wash. 98087.

Directions can be found at: http://www.northpointeah.com/p/veterinarian/map_directions/lynnwood-wa-98087/northpointe-animal-hospital-4859.

Why should I adopt at this event? Up to 100 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens of all different shapes, sizes, ages and breeds from at least 10 animal rescue organizations will be onsite available for adoption. All pets are spayed/neutered. The only thing these dogs and cats need is a new home to love and protect them for a lifetime. Plus all dogs and cats come with a free visit to Northpointe, Main Street or Snohomish Station Animal Hospitals.

Experienced shelter staff, licensed veterinary technicians and veterinarians will be on hand to help you find the right animal for your family. Shelter staff has evaluated each pet’s behavior and temperament.

Many local businesses and national pet vendors will also be on hand with great giveaways. Participating organizations bringing animals to adopt include:

• Barks R Us Rescue: www.petfinder.org/shelters/WA193.html

• Everett Animal Services: www.petfinder.com/shelters/WA134.html

• 2nd Chance Rescue: www.2ndchancerescue.org

• PAWS: www.paws.org

• Homeward Pet Adoption Center: www.homewardpet.org

• Humane Society Happy Paws Farm: www.saveourdogs.com

• Purrfect Pals: www.purrfectpals.org

• Rescue Every Dog: www.rescueeverydog.org

• MEOW Cat Rescue: www.meowcatrescue.org

• Seattle Humane Society: www.seattlehumane.org

The event organized by Northpointe Animal Hospital and 2nd Chance Rescue. For further information, visit www.northpointeah.com or www.2ndchancerescue.org or call (425) 329-4466.