Friday, August 26, 2005

A worthwhile business tax

Occasionally a proposed government tax idea comes along that makes sense because it serves a useful and worthwhile end result.

Such a levy is taking shape in Ketchum City Hall, which is working on details of a proposed $25 business tax that is not merely for raising revenues, but instead would be a way of getting a handle on just what commercial operations are active in the city and to determine if they're operating in properly zoned areas.

Some details have yet to be worked out, such as whether the tax would apply to self-employed residents working out of their homes as consultants, advisers or authors.

Clearly, multiple benefits would accrue.

Ketchum's firefighters need to know the nature of individual businesses so responders in an emergency know whether they will encounter dangerous chemicals or equipment.

Knowing whether businesses are operating in areas zoned for the type of operations is important to nearby residents.

And, finally, having a detailed listing of types of businesses will give City Hall as well as area chambers of commerce a grasp of the structure of the community's economy and what might require the attention of government.

The worth of the tax and its benefits is underscored by the support it's being given by the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber and Visitors Bureau.

Pending the public unveiling of the draft ordinance and its wording, we believe the business community should support the modest proposed tax as a sensible investment.

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