Matanuska-Susitna Borough Repeals Business License Requirement: A Streamlined Approach to Economic Development

The Mat-Su Borough eliminates business license requirements

Businesses operating in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough are no longer required to obtain a borough license, as the Borough Assembly unanimously voted to repeal the requirement. This change is effective immediately upon signing by Mayor Edna DeVries, eliminating the need for businesses to purchase and display a borough license that was first implemented in 1995 and required a $100 fee with renewal every two years. However, those who already paid for a license prior to the repeal will not receive a refund.

The decision by the assembly means that businesses in Alaska must still hold state and local licenses, including city-issued licenses in Mat-Su cities such as Palmer, Wasilla, or Houston, which cost $25 each year. The repeal will not affect these state and local license requirements.

Despite having over 10,000 entities currently holding borough business licenses, data gathered from these registrations has not been used for economic development purposes in over 20 years. Income generated by the license fees primarily functioned as a business tax rather than supporting economic development efforts.

Borough officials estimate that they will lose approximately $541,000 annually from license fees due to this repeal. However, they hope to offset this loss by redirecting business license staff to focus on securing new federal funding sources through grant applications. They also note that business registration information previously used by the borough to contact local companies about regulatory changes and programs is already shared by the state.

The proposal to repeal the business license requirement was sponsored by Mayor DeVries and Borough Assembly members Dee McKee and Rob Yundt. Their goal is to streamline the process for businesses operating within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough while shifting their focus towards more beneficial initiatives that support economic development efforts.

Businesses operating in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough are no longer required to obtain a borough license, as the Borough Assembly unanimously voted to repeal the requirement. This change is effective immediately upon signing by Mayor Edna DeVries, eliminating the need for businesses to purchase and display a borough license that was first implemented in 1995 and…

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