Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

February 14, 2013

In Your View

ASHLAND — Program changed for the better

The Independent recently published an article about Morehead University’s northeast Kentucky best small business awards program. This program has been changed this year for the better.

Previously some winners were not the best small business but rather the best in promoting their business through volunteer work. The previous system was flawed in that a full 40 percent of their total score was determined in this fashion.

This year the score for a business is determined primarily by its business activities, not extracurricular activities. This year’s formula is made up by four separate categories of 25 percent each. They are as follows:

1. Increase in sales, evidence of potential revenue growth, financial strength

2. Creating jobs, evidence of potential for future hiring

3. Increase in sales, evidence of potential revenue growth — financial strength

4. Divided into three areas: (1) involvement and support within the community, including  evidence of owner and/or employee contributions to enhance community (use of personal time and resources, volunteering, etc); (2) response to adversity and/or creative methods to remain competitive, and (3) innovativeness of product or service.

Basically, as explained to me last year, the fourth category (volunteerism) made up the 40 percent mentioned above. This year that category would be only about 8 percent of the total score and much more fair for those businesses running a business and not a popularity contest.

 There are other changes this year as well, including limiting the number of employees to 100 and sales not more than $10 million. This will eliminate some previous entrants who could not win against the 40 percent criteria but could have won with the current rules before they outgrew them.

These changes were necessary and should be welcomed by all of our area small businesses.

William B. Secrest,  Argentum

‘Human’ cost of tax hike is great

What is the “human” cost of adding a 3 percent utility tax on Westwood residents?

Think of how those that are not employed, or only working part time, are going to pay another $15 to $20 every month just for their utilities. This tax will increase every year for the rest of their lives.

What will our large elderly community have to give up to pay this tax? They haven’t had raises in several years, and no more are expected.

One young tax supporter said, “I don’t believe there are widows in Westwood that only make $700 a month.” They have no idea of the realities of the people in the community. A large part of the petition signers were born before 1947. The people who are lucky enough to have a job took pay cuts and haven’t had a raise in several years. They are barely getting by.

The school board has had to admit the conditions at the high school are now being renovated and they will have a beautiful new learning facility by July 1. No utility tax is needed for this; it’s already paid for. There is no urgent need for the rest of their “wish list.”

Their revenues increased by over $800,000. last year. They have raised our property tax the maximum allowed for several years. The people are taxed for everything in their lives and are at the breaking point.

When you go to the polls on Feb. 19, please remember the effect your vote will have on the majority of the community. Think of your parents, your relatives, your neighbors. These are the ones who will bear the brunt of this tax. Please vote “yes” to stop the tax.

Joe Weis, Westwood

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