To the Editor:
A good government is one whose goal is to better the lives of its residents. Beginning with this principle, such governments, eventually, need to prioritize their opportunities to effect such a goal. At some point, this analysis must look at which businesses provide the most benefits for its citizens.
Relevant businesses are those that produce goods and services. Those that are most beneficial are available throughout the entire year, treat their customers with the greatest degree of accommodation, provide year-round employment, and maintain low cost and consistent price structure.
These same criteria are useful in determining which businesses should receive the most support.
Island businesses incur additional costs by staying open year-round due to the need for additional staffing during periods of low volume. There are also additional costs for maintaining inventory, utility usage, and the upkeep of the premises.
Summer businesses avoid these costs, and yet are charged the same taxes for the rental or ownership of their businesses as those businesses which remain open during the off-season. This practice provides an unfair advantage to summer businesses, so how can this be changed? An easy fix would be to make the cost of doing business lower for businesses open all year round than for those open only during the summer. This could most readily be effected by charging less taxes for year-round business to reflect their greater value. I believe that now is the time to consider this inequality, before the summer begins.