Lacey council will consider changes affecting pawnbrokers, secondhand dealers

The Lacey City Council on Thursday will consider changing a city ordinance to make life a little easier for certain businesses and law enforcement.

Up for discussion is a city code that relates to the recording and reporting requirements for pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers. The Lacey Police Department subscribes to an automated national system that records transactions submitted by participating businesses, but businesses also have the option to submit written reports to the police.

The proposed changes to the ordinance are aimed at those that submit reports, so that they can report those items that are most often stolen -- firearms, power equipment, electronics, jewelry or precious metals -- without having to report everything else the business might buy and resell.

Thirteen businesses currently qualify for reporting under the code, but three questioned the need to report things like used furniture, used baby clothing, comic books and related collectables.

“Given the high volume of transactions related to these items, significant time would be spent by the businesses to complete and transmit the forms required by (the city code),” Thursday’s agenda states. “Additionally, significant police department staff time would be involved entering each transaction into the records management system.”

Lacey Police Commander Jim Mack said Wednesday they simply want to update the code, adding that police want a report of most commonly stolen items, “not everything that a citizen might be trying to unload” at one of these stores, he said.

If the amended ordinance is approved, it would be another in a series of business-friendly decisions made by the council.

Here are some recent decisions:

-In April, the council unanimously approved a three-year business and occupation tax exemption for small, startup businesses, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The exemption applies only to new businesses and the business has to make less than $500,000 in annual gross revenue.

-In March, the council approved lowering the city’s gambling tax rate for social card games to 7.5 percent from 10 percent to help Hawks Prairie Casino remain in business. That protects about 140 jobs.

If you go: Lacey City Council meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lacey City Hall, 420 College St. N.E.