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Mount Pleasant extends business license fee reimbursement program to 5 years

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By Andy Owens
Published Feb. 23, 2016

Mount Pleasant Town Council has voted to extend its business license rebate program from two years to five years, hoping to spark more economic development east of the Cooper.

“We’re committed to doing everything we can to promote high-wage job creation that allows our citizens to truly realize the work, live, play Mount Pleasant lifestyle,” Councilman and Economic Development Committee Chairman Mark Smith said in a news release.

The business license reimbursement is one of the few economic development incentives available for municipalities in South Carolina to recruit businesses. The fees also are a source of revenue for cities and towns. Mount Pleasant has 5,400 registered business licenses as of February.

Businesses that qualify for the economic development incentives program can also apply for reimbursement of some or all municipal impact fees, building permits and plan review fees under the ordinance.

During the State of the Town address this month, Mount Pleasant Mayor Linda Page said she was concerned about the General Assembly’s attempts to put limits on business license fees.

The business license reimbursement program began in 2011, the town said, as a way to encourage high-wage, low-impact economic development in Mount Pleasant. Businesses can apply for the reimbursement program if they’re locating to or expanding within the town.

The criteria are for businesses that “substantially add to the tax base, create clean, high-paying jobs and are compatible with the built and natural environment of the town,” the new ordinance reads.

“The economic vitality of our business community is central to increasing our local standard of living, while preserving and enhancing the quality of life for residents, many of whom are business owners,” Page said in a news release.

Business license fees are returned to eligible businesses on a sliding scale outlined in the ordinance. For the first two years, businesses can receive 100% reimbursement. Up to 75%, 50% and 25% can be reimbursed for years three, four and five, respectively.

Reach Andy Owens at 843-849-3142.

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