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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

More on the proposed Snellville Occupational Tax Hardship Ordinance

Or, why I think the Occupational Tax Hardship Ordinance should be crumpled up and thrown in the trash can like the clutter it is.

A little more information about the occupational tax hardship ordinance to follow up on yesterday's post. Snellville City Council Member Kelly Kautz is not proposing eliminating the occupational tax, but suggesting the city offer a discount not to exceed 20% of the tax.

Rather than making this sound better to me, this sounds worse. It doesn't create much of an incentive. In my case, my occupational tax is $45 a year.  So that would mean a reduction of $9. I would need to go to Snellville City Hall to apply for this waiver. By the time I've driven to Snellville City Hall, taken the elevator or staircase, caught my breath after taking the stairs, talked to a city employee & filled out the form, I've easily wasted time in excess of the value of my discount. True, my tax isn't a high one, but it's all relative. 
  • Any time you clutter up things with yet another ordinance, you're using the resources of time and money. 
  • Any time someone goes into city hall to file the paperwork, it's using resources of time and money for the citizen/business owner and the city employee. (Since we pay the city employee with our taxes, you see.)
  • Just having a Snellville employee run copies of the forms and file them so they're ready when a business owner comes in for them, it's using resources of time and money, even if the forms just sit there and nobody ever asks for one.
I hope you are picking up on a theme here. It's TIME and MONEY.  I think that Snellville is probably over-regulated as it is. Simplicity saves us money, so I say just keep things simple. Change for change's sake isn't necessarily an improvement.

The following excerpt is from a Gwinnett Daily Post article:
"Councilwoman Kelly Kautz asked to postpone a vote on the proposed occupational tax hardship ordinance Monday, citing further necessary changes to the proposed law before taking action. Kautz introduced the idea of allowing small businesses to apply for a hardship exemption with respect to the tax, but she presented some changes to other council members Monday and wanted to give them a chance to review the changes before voting.

The matter will be brought before the mayor and council again at the April 25 city council meeting."
"Citing further necessary changes to the proposed law before taking action..." ??? Well, how about this for a radical idea  -- How about thinking things out fully before presenting them? I get annoyed that again, so much time is wasted on something that's not vote-ready. But maybe that's just me.

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