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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Who cares about low taxes?

Is he out of his mind?

If Washington really wants to help businesses, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg says that politicians need to stop obsessing so much over tax rates.

When it comes to improving the business climate, “Usually the pundits think of this as lowering taxes,” Bloomberg said in a Wednesday speech in downtown D.C. “But taxes are just one element of the environment — and usually not the most important. The first question most entrepreneurs ask is not can I afford the taxes — it’s not that. It is: Who are my customers, and where do I need to be to serve them, and how do I get up and running  quickly?”

Sure, the entrepreneurs decide where they need to be to serve the customers they identify, but most of them have plenty of choice about where that is -- most customers aren't location-specific. I can sell my widgets from a warehouse in Terre Haute or one in Brooklyn. If Bloomberg doesn't think the tax rate is a major factor in which one I choose, he really is nuts.

Or just behaving like a normal politician. That's the way most of them think. Isn't that why they get in the business, to spend our money to make us love them? The city of Fort Wayne is sitting on more than $100 million in excess funds, and yet they're actually talking about a tax increase to fill budget gaps. When three Republicans say, hey, why don't we dip into those funds first, there is actually an honest-to-God debate about it. Amazing. Hell, go ahead and raise those rates. None of us out here give a rip about low taxes. Just ask us.