Matanuska-Susitna Borough eliminates the need for business licenses

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assembly recently voted unanimously to repeal the business license requirement for businesses operating within the borough. This decision will take effect immediately, starting this week. The license, which was first introduced in 1995, required a $100 fee that needed to be renewed every two years. Businesses that paid for their license prior to the repeal will not receive a refund.

Despite this change, state and city requirements for business licenses remain in place. In Alaska, businesses must possess a state-issued license with an annual fee of $50. Additionally, businesses located in Mat-Su cities like Palmer, Wasilla, and Houston are required to obtain a city-issued license for $25 per year.

Over 10,000 entities currently hold borough business licenses. However, data from these registrations has not been used for economic development purposes for at least 20 years and is primarily utilized as a business tax. The repeal is expected to result in a loss of approximately $541,000 in annual income from license fees.

Borough officials plan to offset this loss by reallocating business license staff to focus on securing new federal funding sources through grant applications. They believe that eliminating the business license requirement will benefit businesses and simplify the process of operating within the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

The proposal to repeal the business license requirement was sponsored by Mayor Edna DeVries and assembly members Dee McKee and Rob Yundt. They hope that this change will create a more favorable environment for businesses and help streamline operations within the borough.

By Samantha Johnson

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