Santa Clara County lawmakers wish to give 1,000 small companies a break on extra charges only a month after nixing health permit fees.
The proposal, launched by Supervisors Cindy Chavez and Susan Ellenberg, would get rid of weights and measures gadget registration charges for the remainder of the calendar yr. The plan will probably be thought of at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors assembly.
In keeping with a county report, there are roughly 2,000 retail companies, together with grocers, that function scanner pricing techniques and use varied weighing and measuring units.
Massive chain grocery shops like Safeway have greater than 9 scanners plus quite a few scales. These shops usually pay about $900 a yr per retailer in county charges to register their scanners. In distinction, small grocery shops that may get a break beneath this proposal pay a mean of about $320 per yr.
The county defines a small enterprise as a enterprise with two or fewer areas. About 1,000 companies within the county fall beneath this standards and would obtain the break from the county. Most of those companies are grocery shops and gasoline stations, which rely probably the most on scanners and scales for enterprise.
“The aim of those (weights and measures) ordinances is to make sure accuracy in pricing, stop prospects from being overcharged, and create a fair taking part in discipline throughout companies,” wrote Joe Deviney, a county agricultural commissioner and weights and measures sealer, in a memo to supervisors.
Eddie Truong, director of presidency and neighborhood relations for the Silicon Valley Group, stated the plan is an effective first step, however there are bigger, extra pressing points pressuring the county’s small companies.
“The charge elimination is an effective step in the suitable path,” Truong stated. “However we even have to have a look at eliminating the county’s overzealous fines on companies that amounted to almost $5 million, as noted in the Mercury News’ investigative report.”
The report discovered that Santa Clara County companies have been 14 occasions extra more likely to get fined for COVID security violations than some other Bay Space county.
Truong stated after that, the subsequent smartest thing the county can do for enterprise is get all residents vaccinated so the financial system can reopen safely.
Companies would nonetheless must register their units, and would simply get a break on the charges. Deviney estimated this may value the county about $500,000 for the subsequent calendar yr. Chavez and Ellenberg have urged drawing from the county’s basic fund to cowl the expense.
“I feel this can be a comparatively small value to pay for companies in our neighborhood,” Chavez stated. “Keep in mind, all through the nation, our small companies are a few of our largest employers. So by ensuring we’re defending small companies, it additionally makes certain we defend… our communities.”
Chavez stated the county might obtain reimbursement by way of FEMA or current federal authorities COVID aid measures to make up for dropping the income.
“These are all annual prices that they might usually have, so this permits them to tuck away some cash and use them for different issues,” Chavez stated Monday. “We predict waiving the charges will actually assist the smallest companies in our neighborhood. We additionally assume by specializing in the small companies, we’ll be capable of deal with inequities.”
The Board of Supervisors assembly begins at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday. The board agenda and choices for watching may be discovered here.