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Deadline for master license to be extended

(Published December 16, 2002)

D.C. City Council will consider emergency legislation on Dec. 17 to further delay enforcement of the cityís new master business license law.

The law, mandated by the financial control board in 1999 as part of an effort at "regulatory reform," requires all businesses with annual income of at least $2,000 to be licensed by the D.C. government.

Problems with implementing the law, including a public outcry about inadequate notification to businesses that never before were required to obtain a city license, prompted city officials earlier this year to delay enforcement of the lawís provisions until Jan. 1.

The legislation to be considered on Dec. 17 would extend the deadline for obtaining a master business license for another six months. The legislation also prohibits the city from making the master business license database available as a telephone list and requires a court order before the government may share a business personís Social Security number or a businessís federal employer identification number with anyone.

The council also has been considering legislation that would raise the annual income threshold for obtaining a master business license from $2,000 to $20,000. Another bill under consideration would exempt churches from obtaining the new license.

Copyright 2002, The Common Denominator