On Tuesday, after several Bethel City Council meetings full of debate and public comment, the Council passed a major update to the tax code. The effort was aimed at facilitating better tax collection for the city and clarifying the sales tax code.
After years of work, the city of Bethel will finally be able to put a new, more clearly defined sales tax code to use. At Tuesday’s meeting, Council went over and approved the final recommendations from the Finance Committee. According to Bethel City Attorney Patty Burley, the important thing for businesses to understand is that the new tax code has 90 days to go into effect, unlike other ordinances which are law the day that they are passed by City Council.
“Businesses will get sufficient notice,” said Burley. “Not only will they get a copy, but the city is working on a short, simple timeline sheet: by this date you need to do this, by this date you need to do this.”
Burley says that forms will be available, both online and by mail, to all businesses currently registered with the city.
“One of the main things businesses will be able to look forward to is that they will be able to file online – no more having to come into the city [office] to pay your business sales taxes. You can file online when this thing goes live,” said Burley.
Over the next 30 days, the city administration is putting together a bullet point summary of the changes in an effort to make the transitional period easier.
“Our goal is to get everything out to them before 30 days, meaning in 30 days,” said Burley, “and to get it out again at the 60 day mark so that they have two times that they get this information before this goes live.”