Higher taxes ahead? Several St. Louis businesses upset over city - KMOV.com

Higher taxes ahead? Several St. Louis businesses upset over city's push to label them 'manufacturers'

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Countless St. Louis businesses are being pressured to comply with an unusual reclassification. (Credit: KMOV) Countless St. Louis businesses are being pressured to comply with an unusual reclassification. (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Countless St. Louis businesses are being pressured to comply with an unusual reclassification.

From iconic and established, to still growing, several small businesses are frustrated over the city's attempt to label them manufacturers.

"I'm going to do everything I can to protect my business," said Sherri Karandzieff, owner of Crown Candy Kitchen.

Crown Candy Kitchen has served St. Louisans for over a century and as people packed into the North side staple for lunch Tuesday, Karandzieff explained this year is the first time the restaurant has faced the issue of being reclassified.

"It is frustrating, we're a small business and we do everything we can," she said.

In January, she got a call from the city's license collecting office, ordering her to classify the company as a manufacturer because of their mixers and candy makers.

It's a move that could raise taxes considerably. 

Daniel Morgan's tailor shop has sat at the corner of Gravois and Jefferson for nearly two decades and now, he too, is being told to reclassify because of his sewing machine.

"I told them that this is ridiculous, I don't make anything, I'm not a manufacturer," Morgan said. "What I can't figure out is, after 19 years, why is the city suddenly motivated to change my classification as a manufacturer?"

News 4 reached out to St. Louis License Collector Mavis Thompson.

Thompson said Missouri Statute clearly states that companies with personal property used for the purpose of manufacturing, refining or combining different materials must be considered manufacturers.

"If all these small businesses are getting hit with this, I don't know what we're going to do," said Karandzieff.

These aren't the only businesses being affected. Several others, like Ted Drewes, are also facing reclassification and potentially higher taxes.

Some aren't convinced there isn't more happening behind the scenes of this sudden push.

St. Louis Alderwoman Cara Spencer has requested a copy of the License Collecting Office's budget, something she said should've already been readily available online.

The office told News 4 the businesses must comply by April 1 and if not, owners should expect to appear in court.

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