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Harrisburg eyeing 25 percent hike in cost of annual business license

Harrisburg officials are considering a 25 percent increase in the cost of an annual business license, a fee that has remained unchanged for two decades.

City Council is expected to take action at its next legislative session on Nov. 22 to raise the fee to $50 from $40.

Councilman Ben Allatt said the hike is a necessary one following the Stephen Reed era. During the former mayor’s long tenure, the city rarely increased fees, Allatt said.

Over the last few years, however, officials in Harrisburg and other municipalities across the commonwealth, have been looking for new ways to raise extra revenue to support shrinking tax bases and cover rising administrative costs.

Allatt said officials are still researching the fee hike and trying to get comparable data from other third-class cities before they vote.

The fall is also a time when local governments start finalizing budgets for the next year.

In Harrisburg, one of the main focus areas will be developing a capital improvement plan, including how the city will save money for future building projects. City hall needs a new roof, and the city itself needs a public works facility, Allatt said. 

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