Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chamber Division Supports UP Licensing Option

The City of University Place is considering the transfer of the processing of business licenses from the City to the Washington State Department of Licensing.

This issue has been reviewed and discussed by the Chamber’s UP-Fircrest Division Board. A resolution supporting this change in procedure was approved by the UP-Fircrest Division Board and forwarded to the City’s economic development commission (EDC).

Recently, the EDC made their recommendations in part based on the Chamber’s support of this issue.

A final decision will be made by the City of University Place City Council in the near future.


  1. I am disappointed that the Chamber Board didn't have a vote of the members of the UP/Fircrest Chamber. The board is a very small group and one of the board is a staff member of the City of UP who in my opinion is biased!

    I don't see the benefit of having the businesses in UP licensed, anyway. It is just another tax on business. For many years I had a business in UP and belonged to the Chamber when we had no business license. The Chamber did more for the businesses before we became a city. They also took more of a lead with local events, even sponsoring the forums that led to cityhood! Now, it seems they are letting the city lead them.

    The option of licensing through the state is taking it out of our community. The city has a revenue problem (or more correctly a debt problem) and I am thinking that they might have difficulty after awhile with offering to pay the $9 fee to the state for licensing, as they are considering. I really think it doesn't take that much staff time, and if they would continue the required licensing in the city, it would be a good way of greeting and welcoming businesses!

    Many times I have heard some council members state that "Business doesn't pay their fair share". Well, I disagree with that one entirely! They are now begging for businesses to come to UP, even offering exceptional deals to get them into the costly "Town Center", but then would be taxing them and existing businesses with the licensing and outsourcing of the licensing, along with other fees and charges.

    The city needs to look at saving money by eliminating some upper level staff positions; outsourcing their Planning Dept., and perhaps other services as well, but if they feel they can't afford to do business licensing in house, maybe they don't need to do it!

    Lorna Smith
    Naja Silver Shop

  2. The University Place – Fircrest Chamber Division’s board is made up of business community representatives who are voting members, as well as appointed directors such as representatives from both the City of University Place and the City of Fircrest, who are non-voting members. The Board works with both cities for the benefit of each business community.

    The recent idea that the City of University Place transfer the processing of city business licenses to the state of Washington (which several other local communities already do) was brought to the board’s attention for review by our board liaison to the City’s Economic Development Commission and the City. After much discussion, the board voted to support the transition of business license processing in an effort to streamline workloads and contain costs within the City of University Place.