10,900 fewer businesses licensed in Miami-Dade than 3 years ago
By Ashley Hopkins
Over the past three years, the number of local companies applying for tax receipts needed to operate in Miami-Dade has dropped 6.5%. As county companies begin to fall off, officials in the tax collector's office say there's no telling how long the trend could continue.
In all, 10,900 fewer businesses were licensed in Miami-Dade in the just-concluded fiscal year than there were three years earlier.
Anyone doing business within the county must display a Miami-Dade County local business tax receipt as well as a receipt from the municipality where the company is located. Jurgen Teintze, chief of the business tax section of the tax collector's office, says individuals and companies must buy the $50 postcard-sized document before starting operation and display it near registers "so any citizen can see they're taxpayers."
While many business owners have decided to sell or switch management in recent years, others are closing down shop entirely, Mr. Teintze said. As fewer and fewer new companies apply for receipts, the number of businesses in Miami-Dade has been steadily declining.
In fiscal 2006-2007, 23,374 new companies applied for receipts while 21,854 businesses became inactive or did not pay, putting the total at 168,641. This was the last year there were more additions than deletions.
In 2007-2008, 21,713 new companies applied for receipts and 27,240 decided not to renew, totaling 164,775. In 2008-2009, 21,157 additions and 24,746 deletions were processed, totaling 161,742. By 2009-2010, numbers had dropped to 19,783 additions, 25,158 deletions and 157,741 total businesses.
Mr. Teintze said he couldn't forecast whether the trend would continue.
"I don't have a crystal ball," he said.
The year-long receipts run from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30. Those not renewed by Sept. 30 are delinquent. Delinquent business owners must pay a penalty of 10% for October and an added 5% each month thereafter, providing fees don't exceed 25% of the local business tax.
Personal receipts aren't transferable and won't be issued without a valid social security or employer identification number. The tax collector's office, Mr. Teintze said, keeps a database of all corporations licensed with the state, complete with the owner's name, mailing and business address.
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