Letter to the Editor: Anyone Who Signs the Front of a Paycheck Understands…

BILL DUNN
Los Alamos

I believe Mr. Wiggins missed Mr. Chiravelle’s point in his Letter to the Editor dated April 16 (see letter here). Anyone who signs the front of a paycheck understands the requirements governments place on businesses are burden and growing. 

I am a small business owner based in Los Alamos. As a small business owner I must file monthly, quarterly and annual reports and make payments to Los Alamos County, NM Taxation and Revenue for gross receipts, NM T&R for payroll taxes, NM Department of Labor, NM PRC, the US treasury, and Social Security. A late report, incorrectly completed report, or late payment can cost $75 even if no money is due. A late payment to the IRS can incur a 20 percent penalty. These are all requirements for an ongoing business. There are many more federal, state, and local government requirements and expenses for getting a business started. 

The time spent completing these forms and paying these taxes is huge. In addition when things go wrong it can require additional hours of time to correct them. These state agencies are very difficult to reach. You can easily spend a half a day chasing down a problem at the Department or Labor or Tax and Rev. Often these government agencies will deliver new mandates to businesses. The Department of Labor made the mandate “You must file using our new computer system.” They gave business less than a month’s notice, the system didn’t work, and they would leave callers on hold for many hours and never pick up the call. Spending a half of a day on the phone with some government agency is very expensive for a small business whose product is delivering services.  

I spend a huge amount of time and money on fulfilling the requirements of all the various government agencies I must report to. The owners of the pet store, hardware store, department store, plumbers, and other small business around town are also spending too much time on the same tasks. It is likely they have additional government reporting requirements related to their industry. This is time taken away from the reason we went into business, serving our customers. None of these businesses are polluting our water, dodging payments to our employees or not paying taxes on profits. We are all working extremely hard to please our customers and hopefully make a profit. None of us receive a guaranteed paycheck from lab with all the taxes nicely processed for us.

In addition to the payroll taxes your employer deducts from your check and must report and pay, there are several other taxes your employer must pay just for the right of having you as an employee. Why are the state and federal governments taxing business for the right to have employees if these governments want more jobs created?

Mr. Chiravalle has the right idea. If we want more jobs, government has to get out of the way. Yes regulations are necessary to prevent pollution and other forms of dishonesty but the government imposed barriers to starting, running, and growing a business are seriously hindering businesses from creating jobs.

I wish Mr. Chiravalle well in his run for State Representative. We need representatives who will remove barriers and not impose additional barriers. Mr. Chiravalle seems to be one of these people. Representatives like him will help lift New Mexico out of its permanent poverty.

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