I said in an earlier letter that I don’t have any great ideas about attracting new jobs to Sierra County. The usual strategy is to provide cheap land, infrastructure upgrades, county and municipal tax incentives, main street grants, etc. No railroad close to Truth or Consequences doesn’t help either. Plus the interstate crossroads are in Albuquerque and ‘Cruces.

What I do know is some jobs are better than others. If you’re working for an incorporated company, municipality, etc., you pay 6.2% FICA tax plus a 1.45% Medicare tax, 7.65%. This is matched with an additional 7.65% contribution from your employer. However, small businesses, sole proprietorships, self-employed big economy workers and artists, etc. have no employer match. So they’re supposed to pay 15.3% on their income taxes plus collect GRT tax on their sales.

It pains me to say this, but spaceport jobs and Copper Flat mine jobs are worth more than small business and artisans because there is more money left in their paychecks due to the employer match. Plus, they’re steadier. You can have several bad months as a small business; I know I ran one for 31 years. Plus self-employed tend to not report cash sales. You paid me cash and I never reported it. Sorry to say, and that depresses income tax and GRT revenue. Regardless of how you feel about the environmental impacts of mining, they’re better jobs. Plus, they buy more hard goods from the local economy. Way more than paint, cones and clay.

That said, I’m not in favor of any municipal or county incentives for anyone moving into Ashbaugh’s office park across from Walmart. Let him find his own tenants. Also, can the city resurface the Walmart road from Date Street up to the garden center part of Walmart? Looks like crap, and for a city concerned about looking good everyone sees that. Including summertime lake visitors. Probably one of the few areas of T-or-C that they do see.

Speaking of lake visitors, I called a couple of my former neighbors in the Zuni Mountains ‘cuz I noticed the last few years they had been going to Santa Rosa Lake for vacations with their boats. I wanted to know what gives? The answers were cheaper, less crowded and way less DUI roadblocks. Not condoning drunk driving, but that’s what they said. Grants to Santa Rosa is not much closer than Grants to T-or-C. I’m sure less crowded has a lot to do with it. Just saying…

s/S.M. Zeschke


T-or-C, NM

(Over 350 words paid)

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