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City cracking down on delinquent businesses

ALBANY, Ga. -- The city's coffers could see an increase in the next two months of nearly $100,000 after code enforcement and finance officials identified 81 businesses that had fallen out of compliance in keeping their business licenses current.

After closing out the lists for the 2010 renewals in April, the city's finance department discovered a disparity between those that had licenses in 2009 and those that didn't but were still doing business in 2010.

Initially, the review identified 355 businesses that had failed to renew their licenses for 2010, according to the city's computer database.

Code Enforcement officers visited each of the businesses to discuss the findings with owners and operators, Code Enforcement Director Mike Tilson said. After reviewing the findings with store owners, 274 businesses were administratively cleared of any wrongdoing due to either a change in ownership, relocation or computer error.

Of the remaining 81 businesses, Tilson said that half were given warnings and brought themselves into compliance while the other half was issued summonses to court and cited.

As those businesses come into compliance, city officials estimate that for the month of May the checks will generate $30,200 and another $67,100 for June in fees and penalties.

The city requires anyone operating a business within the city to have an occupational tax certificate, which must be renewed each year during the spring.