Payday and title loan businesses in Leavenworth soon could be facing $1,000 city licensing fees.
During a meeting Tuesday, Leavenworth city commissioners reviewed a proposal for a new license fee for these businesses. The matter was discussed during a study session and no formal action was taken. But Mayor Laura Janas Gasbarre said there appeared to be a consensus among commissioners to advance the issue for a later vote.
City Clerk Karen Logan presented the proposed change during an annual review of a list of various city fees. Logan also proposed a $25 special event fee for organized walks, races and other events that use city streets, parking lots or sidewalks.
She also recommended a $5 loud noise permit fee for events such as outdoor parties with disc jockeys.
Logan said the state has started licensing payday and title loan businesses, charging each $2,500 per year.
She said numerous cities in Kansas also are charging for their own licenses for these businesses. These fees range from $500 to $1,500. The city is proposing an annual $1,000 fee for each business.
Commissioner Davis Moulden asked why there is a charge for these businesses.
Logan said the purpose is to regulate the businesses similar to the regulation of pawn shops or precious metal businesses.
Under the proposal, payday and title loan businesses would be required to be licensed through the state and the city of Leavenworth.
Logan said there are six payday and title loan businesses currently in operation in Leavenworth. The proposal does not include a grandfather clause that would allow existing businesses to avoid paying the new license fee.
Commissioner Larry Dedeke asked if any of the other cities' licensing procedures address interest rates charged by the businesses.
Logan said the businesses are overseen by banking regulators at the state level.
Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Preisinger said he believes there is a limit placed on the interest rate that can be charged but there may be other fees charged to people who take out the loans.
If approved, the new license fee requirement would go into effect Jan. 1. Logan said notices would be sent out in advance to the affected businesses.
"The first time around we do give them some leeway to get them licensed," Logan said.
After they're registered, they're required to pay the fee by the deadline. If businesses don't pay the license fees, they could be shut down, Logan said.
"And we don't have a problem dealing with that," she said.
Moulden asked about fees for roofing companies.
There is a new Kansas law that requires roofing contractors to register with the state.
Page 2 of 2 - "We're not ready to address that yet," Logan said, but she may bring it back next year.