This is the complete Press Release / Advisory from the Ivan Harmon Campaign: The plan recently hatched by the Rogero campaign for an Office of Business Support, with a full-time business liaison and a Business Advisory Council is a fine example of what President Ronald Reagan would have called “fuzzy thinking.
This plan is a typical liberal response to a real or imagined problem. It will make more unnecessary government, and add more layers for people to go through and to ultimately pay for. This plan will make it harder to talk to the mayor, and his chief of staff. You probably will be redirected in circles and instead of talking to the mayor, you will get “Peggy” like the (discover card) commercial on TV. Only this time WE will be paying for Peggy. "The business liaison will work closely with businesses and the Chamber of Commerce to help businesses navigate through the maze of city offices on matters such as permitting, inspections and licensing," Madeline is quoted as saying at a fundraiser recently.
“One staff position would be needed for carrying out the initiative.” Rogero said at the fundraiser. Pardon my skepticism but this looks far too much like the camel’s nose going under the tent. City government is big enough. We don't need an office that taxpayers haven't approved of, that will undoubtedly expand, need more and more staff, red tape and money. If you go to the City Of Knoxville web site and click on business, the information you would need to start a business is available already.
As city mayor I would make some changes however. I think you should be able to go to a part of the Business site and submit the kind of business you want to start and get a free package emailed to you, with all the information you need to start your business included in it.
Ivan’s plan for business is simpler and more effective.
1. I am for strong neighborhoods that have been revitalized after blighted properties are returned to the taxpayer and put back on the tax rolls. Strong neighborhoods make an environment that helps business and ultimately, job growth.
2. I will work toward making a Knoxville where the taxes are low and the city services are the best possible.
3. I will improve the city of Knoxville’s business web site. You should be able to submit the kind of business you want to start and get a free email package of everything you need to know to start that business in Knoxville.
4. I will work with the Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders to help and encourage small business. I believe that if you have expertise in a field, you should use it.
As a conservative I feel that we need to put people to work by encouraging business, especially small business to thrive and prosper in Knoxville. The largest creators of jobs in the business sector are small business and most fail in the first two years of operation.
Government doesn't create jobs. Government creates an environment that encourages business and they create the jobs. As a conservative I believe that one way is to try to keep government out of the way as much as possible.
The issue of the Hill Side and Ridge Top protection plan for instance, is an example of too much government meddling. This plan will discourage business. It could cause some properties to loose value and if they were being used as collateral for a business or a mortgage, the borrowers would have to make up the difference.
Since properties are taxed according to value, even the city tax base will change and again the difference has to be made up with more taxes.
We need to help and encourage the business community. Streamlining tax collection is also a start. Why pay your taxes with two envelopes to two tax collecting agencies, for instance.
TIF’s for businesses that qualify, a strong infrastructure and low taxes, will stimulate job growth and new businesses, as well as an aggressive program to recruit new business from other places. We will also work as closely as possible with our governor and the county mayor on business related issues.