Council passed third reading of a bylaw to raise the business licence penalty for those merchants who have not paid for their business licence.
Council voted to double the fine from $25 to $50 for the $90 annual business licence truancy.
City corporate administrator Michelle McIsaac said the city can’t apply delinquent business licence fees against property taxes, nor can they shut a business down if they refuse to pay.
Last month the city had sent letters to 13 Trail businesses who had not paid, asking them to do so or face the new fine. If that coercion is not effective, the city will take steps with a solicitor to determine a proper course of legal action.
McIsaac noted that the business licence bylaw contained a whole section on revoking a licence, but if a business doesn’t have a valid licence to begin with municipal government cannot threaten to revoke a licence.