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Port of Hueneme fee a slam on small business

By   /   Sunday, March 29th, 2009  /   Comments Off on Port of Hueneme fee a slam on small business

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Here’s something that really TWICs us off.

Very soon, the Department of Homeland Security will require all vendors at the Port of Hueneme and all of Southern California’s ports to have a special security pass.

This pass, known as a TWIC [Transportation Workers Identification Credential], will be mandatory for truck drivers, vending machine re-fillers and a slew of folks who only pass through the port occasionally to conduct business.

Your government is taxing each individual who obtains a TWIC a hefty $132.50 for the privilege of basically getting a light document screening.

Needless to say, this is the sort of stuff that drives small-business owners crazy. They already are paying corporate income taxes, state tax, sales tax, worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance and, in many cases, personal property taxes or other taxes on their business.

How DHS came up with the $132.50 figure is beyond anyone’s power to guess — including the 50 cents tacked on just for grins.

Our thought is that the government ought to stop paying lip service to recognizing the value of small business and just give small businesses a break. Sock any company with fewer than 10 employees who will need a TWIC a one-time fee of $132.50 for getting an easy pass to cover all.

Or better still, how about if the rest of the taxpayers, just this once, subsidize the small businesses and let the government eat the cost of searching its own databases and certifying the employees as port-ready.

Unless we have dreamt our way through the past year, it seems to us that that government has been handing out plenty of money to other folks. The last time we checked, many big banks had gotten billions of dollars in handouts.

AIG is closing in on $200 billion, and dozens of its employees got more than $200 million for just showing up for work. Local banks have gotten tens and hundreds of millions.

When it comes to the TWIC, let’s give small business a break. Let’s take some of the money that the AIG brass appears to be giving back to the government and give it to a few local businesses in lieu of TWIC fees at the Port of Hueneme and its sister ports in Los Angeles.

Socialism? Spreading the wealth around? Perhaps.

But it certainly makes more sense than handing a few billion dollars more to the gang at Goldman Sachs.

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