Carencro to require businesses to obtain occupational licenses

All businesses in Carencro will be required to obtain an occupational license beginning in 2015 following action by the City Council on Tuesday .

City Manager Jay Castille said the licenses will allow the city to keep accurate accounts of businesses in the city and to collect all taxes owed by those businesses.

Castille said businesses have been opening in Carencro without a license, and it has become problematic.

“I’ll drive down the street and see new businesses all the time,” he said. “We don’t know if they are or are not paying sales tax. This will make sure they are registered and they are paying their tax like they are supposed to.”

Carencro will use the Louisiana Municipal Advisory Technical Services Bureau to regulate the licenses, Castille said.

He said LaMATS will issue the licenses for a small fee of what they collect from the businesses.

“Each business will be broken down into certain categories, and whichever category they fall in will determine how much they pay,” Castille said. “Every business in this city will have the license.”

Castille said LaMATS, a subsidy of the Louisiana Municipal Association, will do its research on the city and gather information on current and future businesses.

“LaMATS came into existence many years ago because municipalities were not collecting (certain) taxes,” Mayor Glenn Brasseaux said. “Most of these municipalities are pretty small with small staffs, and didn’t know they should have been collecting that. This is just another service that (LaMATS) provides.”

Brasseaux said Carencro collected an occupational tax years ago, but a movement forced the council to do away with it.

“Now there is a movement to bring it back,” he said. “It allows us to control which businesses we have here and to see what is there.”

Castille pointed out the rapid growth of the city, both commercially and residentially, determined Carencro needed the license fee.

“It will certainly help pay for all the commercial infrastructure we are going to need,” Castille said.

“It is something we needed to keep track of our businesses and make sure we are collecting the taxes that we need,” Castille said.