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Office of the City Auditor

To:

CONSENT CALENDAR
May 29, 2012
Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

From:

Ann-Marie Hogan, City Auditor

Subject:

Business License Taxes: Providing Better Guidance and Customer Service
Will Increase Revenues

RECOMMENDATION
Request the City Manager report back by November 30, 2012, and every six months
thereafter, regarding the status of recommendations until reported fully implemented.
SUMMARY
Finance staff accurately assigned business license tax codes, but did not always assess
taxes, penalties, and interest accurately and consistently. This occurred primarily due to
complex and unclear requirements in the Berkeley Municipal code, but also due to
insufficient guidance and responsibilities being dispersed among multiple units in
Finance. Errors and inconsistencies result in businesses being taxed inequitably and
can lead to businesses appealing their cases. This can hurt the City’s reputation, as well
as the bottom line.
Finance does not