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    City of Santa Barbara Launches Online Business License Portal and Announces Changes to Business License Renewal Period

    In an effort to improve tax and license administration services and enhance customer service, the City will launch an online business portal and move to a calendar-year business license renewal period in January 2023.

    The new online system will allow businesses to conveniently apply for, renew, and pay their business license payments totally online. Avenu Insights & Analytics will administer the new system on behalf of the City’s Finance Department. As part of the change, the City will transition to a calendar-year based business license tax program. The change begins with the 2023 license tax year. All current business licenses will expire on December 31, 2022, and will require business licenses be renewed in January 2023. Thereafter, all business license tax certificates will expire on December 31 of each year. Businesses that have already paid into 2023 will be eligible for a tax credit on the 2023 tax obligation that requires renewal by January 31, 2023.

    Businesses will receive letters during the first week of December 2022 further explaining the new process.

    The City has worked toward identifying ways to improve efficiency in how it delivers service to the community. The change marks the Finance Department’s latest effort at streamlining processes to improve customer service. Starting January 3, 2023, businesses will still be able to apply, renew, and pay for their business license in person at City Hall at 735 Anacapa Street, Monday – Thursday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. and on alternating Fridays, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

    “We are excited to offer this customer service improvement to the thousands of businesses that do business in the City. Implementing an online portal, allowing payment online with a credit card, and standardizing the renewal process will allow for greater ease, more transparency and more efficient processes, ultimately saving time and money,” said Finance Director Keith DeMartini.

    Earlier this year the Finance Department launched its online budget book to increase transparency and allow for easy search and viewing by the community. In addition, the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada recognized the department for financial reporting for its annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year 2021.



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