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“Joe the Plumber,” Prepare to Pay-up

Residents and businesses who signed up to receive community e-mail alerts from the City of Castle Pines North received a notice on December 19 stating they must obtain a business license by January 1, 2009. The e-mail stated that the City approved a “reasonable business and contractor license fee schedule.”

The Castle Pines Connection wanted to know the business license fees of other surrounding cities. According to the web sites of other incorporated Douglas County cities including Castle Rock, Parker, and Lone Tree, all have business permit fees of $10. The basic business permit fee for the City of Castle Pines North is $55. Expect to pay even more if you are a contractor.

While it is safe to say that the new City needs the additional revenue, the question is – Do these fees encourage or discourage other businesses from serving the city?

The City also wrote that, “business licenses are required of all businesses, including without limitation, persons or businesses delivering, selling, leasing, renting, exercising control over, repairing, assembling, servicing, installing, assisting in the use of, and/or demonstrating taxable and non-taxable tangible personal property within the city, regardless of whether the person has a physical office location within the boundaries of the city.”

“Joe the Plumber,” be prepared to pay $100* for making a service call in Castle Pines North, whether your business is based here or not. According to the City’s website, contractors must obtain a license prior to working in the city.

The City also stated that, “such licenses help cities follow business activities, ensure contractors hold sufficient insurance, enhance economic development planning, and promote public health and safety.”

Will these high business license fees really allow the City to “enhance economic development,” or impede future development and impact the many small and home-based businesses that already struggle to make up our community?

CPN certainly is not as large as Castle Rock, Parker or Lone Tree; cities with an abundance of revenue sources. However, making small businesses pay high fees may not be the right choice for CPN.

For business license information, contact City License Officer Patrick Howell at 303-705-0216. To view the list of license and contractor fees, go to

– The Castle Pines Connection

*Editors Note: Originally reported in the Feb/Mar issue of The Castle Pines Connection, “Joe the Plumber,” should be prepared to pay about $155 ($55 for a business license and $100 for a master plumber license). Upon further clarification from City of Castle Pines North Communications Specialist Kara Choquette, a contractor only needs a contractor’s license, not both. The plumber’s license fee is $100.

Choquette also provided the following clarification:

Businesses that are “engaged in” (as defined in Ordinance 08-05) retail sales and/or taxable services (including, but not limited to, restaurants, gas stations, arts/crafts, etc.) are required to obtain a Business License, as well as a Sales Tax License. For those businesses that are required to hold both Business License and Sales Tax License, the $5 application fee is waived. So, the fees for the Business License is $50/year and the Sales Tax License is $10/year

For those businesses that provide non-taxable services (including, but not limited to, attorneys, C.P.A.s, financial consultants, etc.), they are required to obtain only a Business License. Since they only hold the Business License, the application fee of $5 still applies making their total license fee $55/year.

Contractors are only required to hold a Contractor’s License. They do not need a Business License or a Sales Tax License. The Contractor License requirements and fees vary, depending on the type of work to be performed by the contractor.



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