Checkout Scanner Inspection Fee not Pleasing SF Businesses

It costs San Francisco's small businesses money to use computerized checkout scanners

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Aug 2, 2011  |  Updated 4:27 PM PDT
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New Checkout Tax Costs SF Businesses

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Grocery store scanners need to be maintained, and guess who gets to pay for it.

Shoppers may hear the sound of money escaping from their wallets everytime they hear the boops and beeps from the checkout scanner. But they can take heart, as it's costing the business owners, too.

San Francisco's city government charges business owners a fee for the right to use computerized checkout scanners, according to the San Francisco Examiner, which is not helping the city's reputation as a place less than business friendly.

Fees begin at $75 and can run to $773, depending on how many registers a business uses, according to the newspaper. Businesses question the necessity of inspecting scanners, as customers generally do a fine job of knowing whether or not they've been overcharged, according to the newspaper.

Businesses are just now receiving bills from city government for the fee, and many businesses are hearing of the fee for the first time, according to businesses representatives.

The fee was proposed by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom's administration in 2010, and approved by the Board of Supervisors as part of that year's budget-balancing act.

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