Wednesday, December 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Are government ‘carrots’ fair, worthwhile?

By
From page A9 | April 20, 2014 |

Across our state, government at all levels strives to appear attractive to businesses and organizations that will bring jobs and economic prosperity to their jurisdictions. They cobble together creative, yet confusing, programs and policies to entice commerce to their communities.

The current round of incentivization apparently stems from the loss of redevelopment districts, and “creative” ideas were needed to keep the economic engine going. Unfortunately, subjective criteria can set the foundation for cronyism.

Several communities in our county have implemented sales tax rebate programs as an incentive program for select (e.g. “large”) businesses. Many programs are heavy on “if-then” clauses: If you meet this requirement, then you might qualify for that benefit.

What if I am an established business that followed the existing laws and fee schedules, then a new business is granted a rebate or exemption? The system that I have contributed to, and complied with, has put me at a disadvantage. My competitor may have gotten an advantage over my business; an advantage that was determined by the current political climate.

As an individual consumer, how do you feel about rebates? Having to get paperwork together, fill out applications and waiting for months to get the money back (maybe), then wondering who to contact when you’re curious about the status is aggravating. Compound that aggravation for a business owner who is unsure if they will get that rebate; one who may need that money for payroll or to purchase inventory.

If carrots are now being dangled to new or relocating businesses, existing businesses will be motivated to look elsewhere to grab their own carrots. If I am an aspiring business that wants to expand, it is potentially in my interest to wait and see what carrots assorted governments will throw at me. Additionally, if the carrots are getting bigger as time passes, I may hold off on my growth plans until the carrot is so juicy I would be crazy not to jump on it.

If an agency is collecting a tax, theoretically, it is to raise resources to provide benefit to the taxpayers of the community. For the agency to rebate some of it back to select entities casts doubt on the necessity of the tax in the first place. Moreover, this precedent validates that keeping money with the private sector is an incentive to starting and growing businesses. If so, why don’t we apply this logic universally, rather than maintaining a selective and subjective list that applies to a handful of well-connected organizations?

When a list of criteria is established that limits the number of participants in a program, there is motivation to update or alter the criteria to allow or prohibit certain participants from realizing benefits of that program. For most municipalities, these programs require city council approval. Knowing that it takes just three people to determine whether one qualifies for preferential treatment stokes the fires of politicking, lobbying and influence peddling.

I view government as a service provider. As with all service providers I deal with, I want the relationship to be smooth and uncomplicated. Likewise, the service provider should strive to be my easiest and most enjoyable partner. Businesses are focused on making a product or providing a service. A business owner should be utilizing their resources and bandwidth to improve their product or service, not expending additional resources to understand and comply with all the details of convoluted programs.

If we are after “creative” solutions to economic growth, let us try this one: Remove as many fees, permits, charges, taxes and other hurdles as possible that are not value-added. Any city fees and regulations are piled on top of many county and state fees and regulations. Allow the people to focus as much of their resources and energy on efficiently providing goods and services to the community.

Businesses (and people) fear one thing above all: uncertainty. Our government should strive to maintain a consistent and reliable playing field for all participants. To do otherwise frustrates the entrepreneurial spirit that drives our economy.

Brian Thiemer is chairman of the Solano County Libertarian Party. He can be reached at lpsolanocounty@gmail.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • The MisterApril 20, 2014 - 9:09 am

    If government has the power to wield a carrot, then government has too much power.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensApril 20, 2014 - 6:02 pm

    The carrot that they dangle is a poisoned ''bait and switch'' carrot indeed. California isn't the only one---New York is up to the same fraud and misrepresentation too.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Menorah on Main begins celebration of Hanukkah

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Haynes, Travis district part company

By Glen Faison | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

 
Optimist Club welcomes student essays

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Police arrest 5 on DUI allegations

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 4 Comments

Free new home heater warms Solano family

By Glen Faison | From Page: A3, 3 Comments | Gallery

 
 
Crash blocks part of Air Base Parkway

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Police arrest 4 for suspected marijuana sales

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
‘Hobbit’ story ends on big screen

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Council delays decision on anti-smoking ordinance

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A8

Police arrest man caught driving stolen car

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A8

 
 
Faifield police log: Dec. 12, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 14, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Dec. 12, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 14, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Taliban assault on Pakistan school leaves 141 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Quotes from around the world on Pakistan attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

A look at the Pakistani Taliban militant group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
State retiree health care gap reaches $72 billion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 4 Comments

Robin Williams tops 2014 list of Google searches

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Ex-Marine wanted in 6 killings commits suicide

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

 
Gay vets can march in Boston St. Patrick’s parade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

Cosby won’t be charged over molestation claim

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
End game: No immigration deal, just divisions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

Jeb Bush to ‘actively explore’ run for president

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 3 Comments

 
Eight-day Jewish festival of Hanukkah begins

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Filipino mayor expresses support for Guam statue

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Employees arrested for baby theft in Guatemala

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Israel arrests members of Jewish extremist group

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Ireland plans May vote on legalizing gay marriage

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Sydney siege victims lauded for courage, kindness

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Horror over deadly Sydney siege turns to anger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Aussie leader: System failed to track siege gunman

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Islamic State recruits broadly, not just fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Opinion

What is Hanukkah’s significance?

By The Rev. Dan Molyneux | From Page: A11, 9 Comments

 
 
LA looks to election shift to boost turnout

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 17, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 17, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
My teenage daughter seems to be cutting me out of her life

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

A chocolatey rich coconut cream pie for Christmas

By Elizabeth Karmel | From Page: B7

 
Go Italian this Christmas with lobster manicotti

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Dressing up a simple hash for Christmas brunch

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

Letterman pulls curtain on holiday tradition

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A5

Fixes planned for clinic that treated Joan Rivers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Green Day, Reed, Starr into rock hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Chris Borland’s rookie 49ers season likely over

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Some Raiders players want Sparano in 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Fairfield grad Bishop signs with 49ers

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Memphis stops Golden State’s 16-game win streak

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Rodriguez girls finally get win over Monte Vista

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Panthers outlast Capitals in longest NHL shootout, 20 rounds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP sources: NFL employees turn over phone, email records

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Bills deliver Lions pizza, wings for hospitality

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

1998 World Cup winner Thierry Henry retires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
USOC decides to bid for 2024; city still undecided

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

College football playoff participants stack AP All-America team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Yankees GM Cashman: A-Rod now a full-time DH

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sprint to end NASCAR sponsorship after 2016 season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders place LB Sio Moore on IR

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots regain top spot in AP Pro32 rankings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

.

Business

California home prices cool in November on sluggish sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
T-Mobile to let customers carry over unused data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Apple wins class-action lawsuit over iPod prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Apple stops sales in Russia, citing unstable ruble

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Obama backs bill imposing new sanctions on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9, 5 Comments

 
Sony hackers reference 9/11 in new threats against theaters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Russian ruble sinks sharply despite bank rate hike

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Obituaries

Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

James Nelson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Collie Joseph Blossom

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

Calvin B. Shin

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

 
.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6