Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske will continue her barrage of proposals next Tuesday when the City Council reconvenes after a two-week hiatus, this time suggesting that the city should waive the business license tax or at least the surcharge for independent contractors in the coming year.

In her letter requesting the item be considered, Schipske says that real estate agents in particular should be offered some relief. Agents must obtain a separate business license to operate as independent contractors even though the real estate broker gets a license. The agents and brokers also generate revenue for the city through the real estate transfer tax when property is sold, Schipske said.

In 1991, the city added a 16% surcharge on business licenses to go toward capital improvement projects, and that surcharge continues today. Schipske suggests that elimination of the surcharge could offer some relief, as well.

The agenda item asks for a report from the city manager about the feasibility and cost of waivers for independent contractors, not for a decision whether to approve the waiver. The report would come back within 90 days.

In other business Tuesday, the council is scheduled to:

• Approve the resolutions calling for a special election and consolidation of that election with the November general election to put the minimum wage for hotel workers in Long Beach on the ballot.

• Consider hosting a public workshop in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce to allow business owners a chance to talk about regulatory burdens and reforms.

• Accept a $403,918 grant from the California Endowment for preparation of a violence prevention plan.

• Consider authorization for the installation of a memorial for Mark Llewellyn Bixby at the corner of Termino Avenue and Olympic Plaza.

• Adopt plans to improve the median on Spring Street between Temple Avenue and the Airport Tunnel and execute a contract with All-American Asphalt for no more the $613,313 including contingencies to conduct the work.

• Consider appointments from Mayor Bob Foster to non-Charter boards and commissions.

—Harry Saltzgaver

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 20 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 30 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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