Panama City Agrees on Merchant License Fee

It's taken 40 years but Panama City now has a formal agreement on a Merchant License Fee.

City Commissioners passed the Merchants License Fee back in the mid 1900's.

It's essentially a 1% sales tax.

But up until 2 years ago, it was loosely enforced, and in many cases the city was failing to collect the tax.

So 2 years ago the Commission passed an ordinance setting the tax limit on big ticket items, like cars and boats, at $10,000.

Today the $5,000 and making the fees easier to collect.

That will mean buyers will pay an extra $50 for a car instead of $100 dollars.

Commissioners also expect to collect $120,000 more from each car dealer.

John Kady was the only commissioner to vote against the lower fees, saying, "We struggle every year in order to keep our millage rate down, and keep our other fees down, that sort of thing, and this is the best tool that we have to do that to make sure that it's equally applied across everybody in the community.

The other City Commissioners insist the tax break will attract more businesses to the area.