According to Forbes, most California counties require business licenses. “Exceptions to this rule are most commonly found in some unincorporated areas of rural counties,” Forbes’ website states.
Inyo fits that description, but County Treasurer Alisha McMurtrie introduced the possibility at the Inyo Board of Supervisors last week, including the creation of a working group to vet the idea and flesh out details.
McMurtrie explained the issue of business licenses came up with the need to communicate
nearly two years ago during COVID. The absence of an accurate data base on businesses made
that communication of both restrictions and relief difficult. She assured the Supervisors fees
related to both getting and renewing the license would be set to simply cover the cost.
Currently, cannabis business require licenses as do those described as “peddlers and solicitors.”
One advantage of a business data base outlined in the Board package referred to “knowing
what may be contained inside a building as critical to law enforcement during an emergency
Obviously, if the County can give a business license, it can also take it away. McMurtrie assured
the Board that reasons for revoking a license would follow a defined process. “This is not a
hammer,” McMurtrie said.
Board members were less than enthusiastic. Supervisor Rick Pucci wanted to make sure the
benefits of a license would outweigh any negatives. Jeff Griffiths supported exploring the
possibility. Jennifer Roeser was not sure there “was a compelling reason” and recommended
including business owners in the proposed working group. Matt Kingsley said he would have to
rationalize the license to businesses in his district.
The presentation was primarily to test the waters. The next step will be the working group
made up of all impacted departments.