Pelham seeks out unlicensed businesses

The Pelham City Council approved an agreement with PRA Government Services to identify improperly licensed businesses and recover revenue, city officials confirmed. (File)

The Pelham City Council approved an agreement with PRA Government Services to identify improperly licensed businesses and recover revenue, city officials confirmed. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—Pelham is cracking down on unlicensed businesses operating within the city as the City Council approved an agreement with PRA Government Services, LLC. to identify improperly licensed businesses and recover revenue during a Nov. 3 meeting.

“They’ve been very successful in other cities,” Pelham Finance Director Tom Seale said of PRA Government Services’ Revenue Discovery and Recovery program.

According to the company’s website, “the identification and recuperation of escaped tax and license revenue can be challenging for local governments.” PRA Government Services assists local governments to identify “businesses operating in your jurisdiction without proper licensing or without remitting appropriate taxes.”

The agreement is for a three-year contract, Seale said, and PRA Government Services will receive 50 percent of the first year revenue from business licenses of newly discovered businesses, Seale explained. The company will not receive any money from taxes generated for the city by these businesses, Seale confirmed during a Nov. 3 City Council work session.

PRA Government Services “estimated possibly $100,000 they can identify for us” in improperly licensed businesses operating within Pelham, Seale said.

Seale said many of these businesses were likely from other cities, but traveled into Pelham to do businesses activities, such as make deliveries, which would require a Pelham business license.