Want to pay more fees to operate as a business in Tillamook County? Read this.

Submitted By: onesmartwoman99@gmail.com – Click to email about this post
On November 30th 2022, the Tillamook Board of County Commissioners had a public hearing to discuss Ordinance 88. According to Bill Sargent, county counsel, the ideas behind this ordinance have been floating around for years, and have been presented to many administrations, but no boards before now have let it get to this level of consideration. The ordinance was brought before the board by Terre Cooper, director of the Tillamook County Economic Development Council.

Ordinance 88 is known as the Business License Fee Ordinance and shall be administered by the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County. A copy of the Ordinance can be found here:


Some fun facts about Ordinance 88:

-Ordinance 88 forces all businesses in unincorporated Tillamook County to pay a yearly $75-300 fee and register with the county, or else pay heavy fines.

-According to section 13 Violation and Penalties “A. Any person convicted of violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $600 for any one offense. The fine commences seven (7) days following notification of offense. Each day constituting a separate offense.”

-According to Section 13 Violation and Penalties “B. Inspection and Right of Entry. Whenever they shall have cause to suspect a violation of any provisions of this ordinance, or when necessary to investigate an application to, or revocation of a license under any of the procedures prescribed in this ordinance, officials for the enforcement or administration of this ordinance, or their duly authorized representatives, may enter on any site, or into any structure, for the purpose of investigation providing they do so in a reasonable manner. If an owner or occupant denies access for an inspection, the County will seek a warrant. No secured building shall be entered without the consent of the owner or occupant unless under authority of a lawful warrant.

The public hearing about this Ordinance got pretty heated. The Pacific City Sun wrote an article about the hearing here: pacificcitysun.com/effort-to-enact-county-business-tax-meets-opposition.html

You can watch the November 30th 2022 Public Hearing on Ordinance 88 here (the hearing starts at minute 31) tctv.viebit.com/player.php?hash=K8LnqnX3gNJr

The long and short of it is: most if not all of the public at the hearing was against Ordinance 88. Business owners were against more fees, against more regulations, against the outrageous fees for violations of the ordinance, and most prominently against giving the county the right of entry to their business, especially if that business was run out of their home. Citizens voiced concerns over the vague language in the ordinance. It’s not really clear what the “benefits” of this ordinance are, or how the money will be used specifically to help businesses. The director of the EDC, when questioned, said that the answer is presented in the ordinance itself and that she didn’t feel she needed to elaborate.

The second public hearing about this ordinance was cancelled, and instead Commissioner Mary Faith Bell suggested a work group to discuss revision of the language of the proposed ordinance.

Also, the Tillamook Economic Development Council is having a public meeting about Ordinance 88 on MONDAY, DECEMBER 19th, at 8am. You can attend in person or via ZOOM. Details here: www.edctc.com/edc-minutes

What is the fate of Ordinance 88? We don’t know yet. I’m not confident the Commissioners will vote against it, because if they were not in favor of it they would not have let it get this far. But what about the fact that it seems that the businesses in our county are against it? I wouldn’t bet on that stopping the ordinance- if the commissioners had taken that into consideration they would not have ordered the work group to “revise” the ordinance. I would think they would just have left it alone and let it go up to vote at the next board meeting, if they were planning on voting against it anyway. They seem committed to passing this ordinance.

Educate yourself about this Ordinance, make your voice heard, email the County Commissioners with your objections and concerns (contact the commissioners by going to this page: www.co.tillamook.or.us/bocc), join the work group, and attend the EDC meeting on Dec. 19th if you want to maintain your business rights and stop Ordinance 88.

Elisabeth Summers
Tillamook County Resident