September 9 , 2012 In: outSissonville

Corp Tax Reduction Not WV Small Biz Benefit

Reducing corporate tax rates could benefit the economy but don’t claim it benefits small businesses in West Virginia. That’s because West Virginia small businesses don’t pay corporate income taxes. Or I should say 93% of WV small businesses don’t pay the tax. So decreasing or increasing it has no material effect upon us and those who seek to influence public policy should understand why.

Of the 40,073 West Virginia business entities (see size details of all WV business data (click here), only 7% or 2,700 entities are organized as C Corporations and subject to the tax. The rest of us (93%) or some 37,373 entities report our business income on our individual tax returns and are subject to the same income tax rates as everyone else. Thus, lowering corporate income tax rates is not a direct benefit to small business in West Virginia and we should not claim it is.
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July 22 , 2012 In: outSissonville

7/22 Who Built This Business Anyway?

President Obama, in a speech to supporters in neighboring Roanoke, Virginia, suggested business owners owe their success to government investment in infrastructure and other projects — saying “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” Click here for full article

Campaigning in Irwin, Pennsylvania, Mitt Romney called the comments “insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America.” While agreeing that government-paid employees and infrastructure are needed, Romney said that those services were not responsible for the success of new business. Click here for full article

Ya know what? Based on my 20 years of owning and operating a small business and another 25+ years of consulting with hundreds of small business throughout the US and Canada: they are both right with Romney taking the edge.

Huh?

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July 1 , 2012 In: outSissonville

7/1 Power Outage and the Supreme Court

Everything was fine until the storm Friday evening … “Where did that thing come from?” was the most heard phrase. Suffice it to say that we are experiencing a power outage of historic proportion and it’s not over. For me, I am using my remaining laptop battery and broadband instead of wireless as well as my last nerve to get this to you. And, just think, I am on vacation! Big whoop so far. Anyway, if I get to take a real vacation the rest of the week, I will be taking a respite next Sunday and not writing to you. If not, I might. We’ll see. In the meantime, if you see Reddy Kilowatt, have him stop by East Sissonville ….

SCOTUS Decision: Obamacare Constitutional

The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Affordable Health Care Act, aka Obamacare, on Friday and I imagine it’s been the biggest topic of conversation amongst those who have electric. And, my guess is, most of us don’t like the policy (law) and thus disagree with the decision. I have seen examples of good responses to the event and then at least one example of a bad one.

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June 25 , 2012 In: outSissonville

6/25 Stimulus paid for fiber optics to nowhere

Stimulus pays for fiber optic to empty building
Eric Eyre, Charleston Gazette
West Virginia used federal stimulus funds to run 425 feet of fiber-optic cable to a building in downtown Huntington that’s now empty. The state spent $22,600 for a high-end Internet router and $14,800 to bring a high-speed fiber connection to the Huntington-based Region 2 Planning and Development Council. The regional economic development agency leased office space at the now-vacant property last year, but moved to a new location in February. The fiber connection now belongs to the building’s new owner — a prestigious Huntington law firm. The Region 2 Planning Council’s new headquarters doesn’t have a high-speed fiber connection. The Internet router remains in storage …

June 24 , 2012 In: outSissonville

We Deserve a Rockefeller vs. Manchin Debate

Woe, despair and agony on me. I try to keep up, but some weeks are just more fruitful than others … anyway, since you already know the news, let me give you my view of the impact of the stories out here in the hinterlands.

Rockefeller’s Coal Speech Biggest Impact

US Senator Jay Rockefeller blasts the coal industry, lauds EPA read numerous headlines after his June 20th Senate speech (full text) and might foreshadow one of the most significant West Virginia policy debates in memory not to mention the pure politics of it all. Coal association president Bill Raney responded that the remarks were “disappointing and discouraging” as did WV Chamber President Steve Roberts who reportedly answered his phone, “This is Capito for United States Senate headquarters.” Meanwhile, Rockefeller’s former press secretary, Mark Ferrell spun the speech as saying, … “it’s time to begin thinking differently about how we’re make the future of coal viable …”

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June 24 , 2012 In: outSissonville

Justifying Government Programs

US Senator Jay Rockefeller hosted a state roundtable on child hunger which concluded that students face hunger during their summer break. In fact, the Children’s Defense Fund says that there are 206,190 children receiving free or reduced lunches during the school year, but only 16,807 participate in the summer food service program. That means, they leave it to us to conclude, 189,383 don’t get enough to eat. Well, this reminds me of a classic equipment justification problem. Huh?

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June 24 , 2012 In: outSissonville

Top Two Primaries

I mentioned the Top Two Primary system last week as adopted by the State of Washington. Well, in case you didn’t know (as I didn’t) California was the second state to adopt such a system, which it did by referendum in 2010 and held its first primary under the system last week. Well, how did it work? Thought I’d try to find out for us.

How Top Two Works: All candidates for a single House of Delegates seat (single-delegate district), are on the SAME primary ballot whether they be Democrat, Republican or whatever. If four Democrats and three Republicans run for that seat, then all voters (regardless of party-affiliation) vote for one person amongst the seven. The top two vote getters then go on to face each other in the general. That could be a Republican vs. Democrat, or two Republicans, or two Democrats or, again, whatever. If a nominee croaks before the general, then the third place finisher is promoted. I would assume in a five member district, then the top ten vote getters would go onto the general although I don’t know since California nor Washington are smart enough to have multi-member districts as we have.

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