Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Opinion

February 3, 2013

In Your View

ASHLAND — Taxes, regulations thwart business

Did you ever wonder why government leaders always seem to put their carts before their horses? Take Ashland, for example. It is going to spend $40,000 to pay a firm in Louisville to tell city leaders what is wrong with Ashland.

There are local people who would tell them the answer for free! Ashland’s philosophy has been backwards to what will cause future growth. Overtaxing businesses and over-regulating those businesses will not make Ashland more prosperous. Ashland leaders must first create an atmosphere to encourage more small businesses to open there.

How? With low taxes and a simple licensing process. Do you think the 1 percent payroll tax encourages new business to open in Ashland? Do you think lots of permits, red tape and regulation encourage business or any other kind of growth? Do you think only large businesses who employ a lot of people are the key for growth in Ashland?

If you look at cities that are growing they do things differently. Ninety percent of new business growth comes from the small mom-and-pop businesses. They start out small and then grow and become large businesses. 

Ask anyone who has tried to start a small business in Ashland or Boyd County. Most say: too costly and too complicated. Big businesses are moving out and closing down. It’s the new small businesses that are where future growth is!

You don’t need to spend $40,000 to realize that Ashland and Boyd County’s tax structure and regulations only discourage small-business start-ups.

 The rest of us have learned to live on less. Why not Ashland and Boyd County?  Because that’s not putting the cart before the horse. They want the tax income first, then the growth.

Joe Bounds, Ashland

Stop complaining and do something

I was raised in Westwood and only attended Fairview schools. We Westwoodians pride ourselves on being a close-knit family. 

The school is the heart of our community. Without it, we would lose something very vital and special.

Many people who have been away from Fairview for many years don’t realize the building is in as bad of shape as it is.

Fairview has had to use Band Aid fixes for a long time. Put yourself in the place of the kids going there and having to deal with areas of the school that don’t heat and cool properly. You have windows with cracks in them, a foundation needing repairs, a whole wing closed off for repairs.

The school has stretched a dwindling budget to where we are at a crossing point that determines whether children can safely keep going to school here.

No one likes paying more taxes,  but at least you can see every day where your money is going at Fairview. Aren’t our future generations worth it?

I had lived away from this area for many years and now I am back. I have no children in the school system, but I believe that once you are an Eagle you are always an Eagle.

If the school board says we need to do something to help the kids, then we need to do it. We elected them; if you don’t like how they are doing things, vote them out or run yourself.

Do I stand with the school board? No, I stand with the kids.

Stop complaining about things being bad. Stand up and do something about it. Make a donation, help out at a sports event or tutor some kids during or after school.

Thomas Leadingham, Westwood

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