SB 158: Enforcing the Exemption for Home-Based Businesses
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After a four-year effort, last year the Legislature finally passed a bill to exempt home-based businesses from having to pay a fee as a condition of working inside their home when they have no impact on their neighbors.
Since then, many home-based business owners have reached out to Libertas Institute to report difficulties with obtaining the exemption. Some cities are refusing to waive fees, calling the charge an “administrative fee” instead of a license fee to circumvent the law. And many cities are informing business owners that if they receive any business deliveries to the home at all, or if a single customer comes over, then they are not exempt—even though that is not at all what last year’s law said.
We applaud the cities that have either eliminated licensure requirements for home-based businesses altogether, or who have properly followed the spirit and letter of the law to waive fees for these business owners. While it is unfortunate that so many municipal bureaucrats have instead made it very difficult for business owners throughout the state, SB 158 should provide further clarification to ensure that the Legislature’s policy decision is better followed.