Supervisors to vote on proposed public health fees

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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Logo, courtesy of Facebook

Los Angeles County supervisors plan to vote on a 15 percent increase in public health permit and license fees Tuesday.

The Public Health Department is recommending the increase, which would affect all restaurants and any businesses that need health inspections, for the next fiscal year. It would be the first significant increase since 2011.

If approved, the fee hike would range from $5 to $394, depending on a business’ current fees, according to a county release. The fees are due by June 29, and affected businesses with permits or licenses would receive a supplemental billing statement for the increase.

The supplemental fee would be due by Oct. 1.

Troy Hooper, Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce board chairman, said the increase would negatively affect minimum wage employees, many of whom work at restaurants with such permits and licenses.

“Small-restaurant owners operate on less than 8 percent profit margins,” Hooper said. “The already increasing minimum wage has placed an enormous burden on these establishments. Adding an additional burden on them through this fee increase is just another in a long (list of) taxes and fees from which they may not survive.”

Kathy Norris, Valley Industry Association president, said VIA has not yet taken a formal position on the increase.

The department is considering more frequent, smaller fee adjustments to minimize negative impacts on businesses, according to the county release.

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