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March 10, 2003

What are they doing with all of it?

by Beverle G. Sweitzer
Abercrombie & Co. Silverplaters, Ltd.

I was reading with interest the editorial on the country of origin for parts, etc. My remarks may be seen as coming from "the other side of the fence". I received a notice last week that my business will now be subject to a "Community Right to Know" fee. The least it will be is $1,000. I already pay $2500 per year as a "potential" hazardous waste producer. $500 for a license from the Office of Emergency Management and at least another $1000 per year for sampling and testing. I am the owner of a tiny plating/refinishing shop with, counting myself, 4 employees. In a good year we will gross $250,000. My rent is $55,000 per year and salaries....well, I guess all of you know about salaries. The electric utility in my area tacked on a surcharge about 4 years ago to raise $40 million to aid "those who would be disadvantaged by divestiture" even though divestiture hasn't happened.

My point to all of this whining is our government seems to look at small business as an eternal spring of funds. A never-ending source of taxes and fees to pay for any and every committee and cause that can be dreamed up. I care a lot less about other continents and countries when my own livelihood is threatened in the name of ecology and right-to-know. Where will it end and when will small business be given the consideration and respect that is part of being the largest source of employment in the United States? Why do we continue to try so hard when there is so much and so many working against us? --B.G.S.

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