Initiatives vs. Incentives
By Laura Lowell
August 31, 2007
I have followed with attention the debate over the jewelry store
initiative. It seems that all sides agree that there is an overabundance
of jewelry stores in Ketchikan. Therefore step one is complete,
we have identified the problem. Step two gets more tricky because
of all of those darn choices. The proponents of the initiative
have excercised their rights to propose a solution. However,
mom always said, you get more bees with honey than you do with
vinegar. I never tested it, scared of bees.
Restriction based actions, the vinegar, have the ability to yeild
the desired result. I don't like what your doing and I'm going
to stop you. Restrictive actions also breed resentment, revolt,
and place the restricted in a defensive position. Then the real
issues actually take a side step to the new center ring attraction,
mud slinging, name calling, miss-assumed quoting debates and
I tend to look for win-win solutions, double the honey so to
speak. Create a set of incentives that naturaly leads to less
'undesirable' business saturations.
Establish a desired business model set for the area, a list of
types of businesses that are essential to a well rounded wide
set revenue base, from ice cream parlors and doctors, to rigging
shops, tourism and sushi, quite simply, jewelry stores just wouldn't
be on the list. Businesses who's primary goods or services are
on the list, allowed a small rebate from their sales taxes. New
entreprenuers would naturally select from the most adventagous
business types and the revenue base then diversifies.
Building owners who rent to shops that are open year round get
a small reduction in property taxes, and if your renter is only
here for the summer then you pay a little more. We either get
more property tax or more sales tax revenue. The stores that
don't have a market in the winter time would either have to difersify
or perhaps move on.
Shops which 'close' for extended periods pay a closure penalty.
Local stores who are open all year get one free garbage pickup.
Business owners who actually LIVE in Ketchikan all year and have
their shops open, use of the rec center, library etc. gratis.
Can incentives like this work? How would one propose these kinds
of changes or, am I really missing the boat each idea itself
frought with pitfalls?
Received August 30, 2007 -
Published August 31, 2007
About: "Lifelong Resident"
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