Who cares about small businesses?
By Robert McRoberts
October 24, 2007
A broken system. That's what we have. Our government keeps saying
how they are for creating jobs, then why can't they see the small
guys? Is it we only want big industries to come to town? I see
the small mom and pop businesses getting pushed to the side.
Is it not the tax base? The big guys bring millions of dollars
worth of machinery to town as the average mom and pop business
only works with a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of assets
invested - making less tax revenue. It seems to me that since
we hire out-of-towners to run our government who went to business
management school, we can not run our government as a business.
We should not keep trying so hard to expand it, that will come
naturally if we concentrate on making a nice place to live.
No big business is going to
come here. It is too expensive to live in Ketchikan. We need
to get the cost of living down. There are a lot of small businesses
here trying to keep ahead but we are pushing them out of business.
It costs too much to operate here.
Look at downtown, a few people own most of it and the values
are all up. Even though a lot of the buildings are rotting and
molding away and proudly should be condemned. But their value
is higher than some of the buildings in Newtown that are in better
shape. They're both rotting away and sitting on hundred year
old pilings. The government allows those building to be so valuable
for taxes. But you hear the word location. Watch how fast they
will bring up the value of Newtown property as the new docks
start unloading tourist there. Soon the local artist will want
to sell their stuff. We'll not be able to rent space there. They
will not be able to live here all winter making their stuff.
That is already the case. and that's why there are not more doing
it. I have had that dream but it just doesn't add up -- work
all winter and hang out all summer selling your goodies. What
a nice dream.
This is where the government messes with this plan too. If you
are a local artist you probably own a home -- let's say $350,000
average Ketchikan good home with taxes at about $3200.00 a year.
for your home. Plus your mortgage -- let's say $2,000 x 12 =
$24,000 just too live comfortably on the rock. Then you have
to rent a space -- surely $1500 for a small spot = $18,000 plus
your business licenses and insurance. With wear and tear on the
shop and supplies, surely you would spend $24,000 for rent. So
now I am at let's say $55,0000 because I missed something. We
need to eat -- surely about $5,000. Heating oil and gas I could
only guess. Anyway my point is, it costs a lot to live comfortably
and be a local art shop. And why would you go into business
and live poorly? Life is too short and artists like to do what
they like. To attract businesses of this kind you must produce
a lower cost of living. On top of that like any other business
there's the tax man looking at all your paint brushes, chisels,
needles and what ever tools you use to create your art because
your selling it.
Just to get back to the tax man and his personal property tax,
this is surely a deterrent to do business in this borough. I
think that this is the worst tax and most unfair tax ever created.
If I were to ever be the boss, I would eliminate that tax --
or get run off for trying. The IRS gives you a break for buying
new equipment but the KGB taxes you for bringing new tools to
town. It's kind of like they just like old junk around town.
To be taxed on your investment in your business is all wrong
and in no way fair. What do I get from that tax?
That brings me to other problems we have all these rules on property.
We are an island of rock. Property would be more affordable if
the rock on it could be sold to make developing it cheaper. The
whole knob that is the Third Avenue bypass could be shot down
to road grade rock, sold and property owners would be paid for
it. Instead it is too expensive to develop except for a few homes.
Let the trees fall on the road -- who was the fool that put the
light poles on that side of the street anyway? And when was the
last time a rock quarry was zoned in this town?
Well it's a beautiful morning in paradise and now I need to get
things done so have a nice day. After all the negative things
I've said about government I would like to say the recreation
center is one good thing we have going for us -- especially on
windy, rainy days.
Received October 21, 2007 -
Published October 24, 2007
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