To the Valley News:
What happened to Lowe’s in Ticonderoga is a case study in what not to do if you want to create jobs in the U.S. Instead of being welcomed with open arms and tax exemptions, Lowe’s was involved in years of time consuming and expensive litigations waged by state and federal agencies, private agencies and victims groups. When they finally resolved all the battles and had the go-ahead to open, they were hit with the double whammy of the economy tanking and the shut-down of the bridge connecting New York State to Vermont (due to mismanagement, negligence, and incompetence, on the part of the DOT.) Opening at the worst possible time was the final blow that no new business could possibly recover from.
Americans have to make a decision — do we want to welcome businesses that will create tax producing jobs or do we want to hold up businesses with unnecessary red tape and frivolous lawsuits and consign prospective employees to the welfare rolls and bread lines?
I feel for the former employees of Lowe’s. Not only is Ticonderoga and the state of New York losing taxes from the retailer, but also losing taxes from the employees, both from their salaries and sales tax with the loss of their purchasing power. I sadly suspect that Ticonderoga and surrounding towns will also loose property taxes from employees who might lose their homes as a result of their termination and lack of salary. My heart goes out to these employees.
I’m calling on all our elected officials to come up with some novel solutions for job creation in our towns. Instead of punishing new businesses that create jobs, why don’t we roll out the welcome mat? How about giving new businesses that create jobs a 5 year moratorium on taxes? Why don’t our local leaders band together to petition the federal government to lower the corporate tax rates to make our country more attractive to companies outside the U.S.?
The situation in our country is becoming desperate and calls for desperate action that goes way beyond political ideology. If our towns are to survive, if our state is to survive, if our country is to survive, if our people are to survive, we have to get beyond class warfare and business bashing.
As Lowe’s has shown, no business is obligated to keep its doors open if it’s not profitable for them to do so. They can shut down, as is the case of Aubuchon in Port Henry, or like Lowe’s, just pick up their chips and leave. Instead of penalizing potential employers why not try to facilitate their success, because in the end, we all win when local businesses succeed.
Mandy Fox, Crown Point