City Chambers of Commerce Question (help?)


What is the legal authority of the average city’s Chamber of Commerce?
Here’s why I ask. My neighboring city’s new city council has decided that it’s high time they issued, and collected fees for, businesses licenses. (No, they are not required as yet.)
After months of…Oh, I’ll spare you. The important part is NOW they want to hand the responsibility and authority to the Chamber of Commerce!
AND they are going to be given the authority to shut off businesses’ water if they don’t pay up! (We’ll skip how stupid it is to shut off a business’ sprinkler system for the moment),
Do what???
They aren’t a governing body, and they aren’t elected officials.

I thought that the Chamber of Commerce was mostly funded by the businesses that joined it, and, in return, they’d promote their businesses. (Boy, was I wrong!)
But all I want to know for now if any Chamber of Commerce has the legal authority to issue a license to businesses; which, obviously translates into ‘lay and collect taxes’.


The Chamber of Commerce should have no authority to do anything except over it’s members. Dictating what it takes to become and stay a member in good standing is all. Banks and other places in my area have been know to be able to accept payments, but that’s all. I’m sure they get paid for taking pressure off the Accounting Dept not having to deal with walk in’s.

Giving this power to them is like the FCC and EPA thinking they have the power to make laws and policy.


If I understand your post, it looks to me to be illegal #1, and a conflict of interest #2.

I hope you have some type of a taxpayers organization or local Tea Party, because it seems the city council is “going rogue”. holy sheep



Thanks, Perkins. Pretty much as I thought. (Love the analogy, btw. :wink:)

The city just south of where I live is my county’s seat. Although I (obviously) can’t vote for their city’s mayor, I did support the businessman who had already invested a great deal in this area. Harrison really could ‘use an enema’, and he had a history of making successful business decisions. Him, along w/a few new council members.
And let’s face it, their decisions effect me. So, I’m trying to stay on top of all the changes they want to implement.
Thus far, they sound like a bunch of nitwits.
Every suggestion they have had to attract businsses either raises a fee or a tax - on the businesses AND/or the residents. AND, in the most convoluted way a person could dream up. ADD to that that they don’t know where their jurisprudence begins or ends. TOP all that off with the frustration of trying to get an answer to a simple question.
To wit: DOES the city have a separate property tax from what the county residents pay that gives the council the AUTHORITY to repeal just part of the property tax?
Not a tough question. Care to know how many times it’s been asked? Care to know how many times it’s been answered?
Oh, I’ll shut up. But, jsyk, I don’t just have a selfish motive for trying to stay on top of things here. I’m, (along w/many others), trying to save the good citizens of Harrison from getting royally burned.
Thing is, it’s hard when you can’t get a direct answer to a simple question. Which is why I finally came here, where I knew I could get an answer. And bingo, in no time at all.
Thank you!


One thing I’ve been pleased to learn is how involved the citizenry is, how sharp many of them are, and that, yes, there is a local Tea Party. Most have had the same reaction as you; illegal and in conflict of interest where this issue is concerned, AND that the city council is “going rogue”, just like you said.
Thankfully, the local paper is doing a decent job of covering the council meetings, AND putting all the articles on the internet where we can share our opinions. Many of those ‘commentors’ attend the twice-a-month council meetings, and I’m grateful to them for putting a stop halt to much nonsense, along w/sharing what they’ve learned. LOT’s of good folk here!
Unlike the mayor, at least THEY know:
Chamber of Commerce: ‘No legal controling authority’. lol
Property Taxes: County; not city
Franchise Taxes: State; not city
Parks Dept: Chamber of Commerce; not city

One thing we ALL know: The mayor can’t be that dumb.
Remind you of anyone you know? :eusa_think:


Hm, wonder if my sister has any notion of this. She lives in (near, actually) Witts Springs, not too awfully far from Harrison. I can’t remember exactly where Harrison is in relation to Witts Springs. I was there in '78. Witts Springs is just a wide (not very) spot in the road. My sister lives on a mountain - I guess WS is on the mountain, but she lives higher.


Witts Springs is in Searcy County, a good 100-150 miles southeast of here.