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How does government regulation affect business?

Filed by KOSU News in Feature.
November 12, 2012
 

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“In Oklahoma, we understand that small businesses are the backbone of Oklahoma’s economy.”

“Every company needs compliance officers and attorneys just to make sure they’re running their business based on the preferences…”

“What can we do to help Oklahoma be the most attractive place for business?…”

It took me fifteen minutes to find those three clips, that’s it. That’s how common politicians and other leaders speak of government regulation. And often, the default position seems to call for less of it, creating more business. Okay, but we’re not here to deconstruct political arguments.

What I did want to know is how regulations affect business on a day to day basis. So we put out a call through our Public Insight Network. A wide range of businesses responded, and we started to get some answers. A child day care in Stillwater.

“The handbook is so large and its one size fits all that there’s not a lot left up to the people to make decisions and so sometimes you just have to figure out the answer.”

That’s Andi Riggs. She owns Oak Tree Children’s Academy along with her mother, employing 10 people full time, with another 30 working part time. She says some regulations added thousands of dollars to her start up costs.

We’ll go white collar, to the banking industry with Roger Beverage.

“Smaller banks have already decided that they can’t keep up with the new rules that govern residential real estate lending. So they’ve gotten out of that business. And they refer their customers to Oklahoma City, or Tulsa, or Lawton, or some other larger area.”

And we’ll take a ride to a trucking company headquartered in the small northern Oklahoma town of Newkirk. Ike Glass runs Glass Trucking, with almost 80 drivers under his supervision.

“We have to clean our flour tanks by clean, I mean we have to clean the interior of those flour tanks, after every seven loads. You can see the amount of things that have to checked on that flour tank. Now these are all government regulations.”

These small business owners deal with mandates. Regulation as a concept is okay, but their common complaints came down to these:

When federal, state, county and city regulations were different,

When they required things that would never get used,

And when they went above and beyond what they thought should be required.

Most actually felt bad for the regulators out in the field, who they say don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room.

All this week, we’ll visit these businesses, and others. What actually goes into getting a small business up and running? What kind of regulations just don’t make sense? Is it possible to pull back regulations while also providing necessary protections for the consumer?

This is an open conversation too. If you’re a small business owner and want to chime in with your experiences with government regulation, just click here.

One Response to “How does government regulation affect business?”

  1. Michael L Delaney says:

    NOTICE TO VENDORS: NEW LAW WILL RESULT
    IN CLOSURE OF NONCOMPLIANT BUSINESSES
    Beginning November 1, 2012, any vendor who is delinquent in the filing and
    payment of sales taxes three times within a consecutive twenty-four (24) month period
    is subject to business closure.
    The Tax Commission will issue notice to a vendor who has failed to file two (2)
    reports or remit sales tax due for two (2) months within a twenty-four (24) month period
    advising the vendor a third delinquency in reporting or remitting sales taxes will result in
    closure of the business.
    The Tax Commission will issue notice to a vendor who, after being issued notice
    after a second delinquency, fails to report or pay sales taxes for a third month within a
    twenty-four (24) month period advising the vendor that the business will be closed within
    five (5) business days from the delivery or attempted delivery of the notice unless the
    vendor exercises one of the following options:
    (1) Provides proof that the delinquent reports and/or payments have been
    previously filed and/or paid;
    (2) Files all outstanding sales tax reports and remits the delinquent sales tax,
    including interest, penalty, and fees; or
    (3) Enters into an approved installment agreement to satisfy the delinquent sales
    tax, interest, penalty and fees.
    The notice will also advise that the vendor may object to the business closure by filing a
    written protest and request for hearing within five (5) business days from the delivery or
    attempted delivery of the notice.
    If the vendor does not exercise any of the options available to avoid business
    closure, or comply with the terms of an installment payment agreement, or seek
    administrative or judicial review, or the closure decision is upheld after administrative or
    judicial review, the Tax Commission shall affix written notice on all entrances to the
    business that:
    (1) Identifies the business as being subject to a business closure order; and
    (2) States the business is prohibited from further operation.
    It is unlawful for a business to continue operation after an order of closure. Any
    business operating after an order of closure is subject to being enjoined by the District
    Court and other legal action, as appropriate.
    For complete copies of the proposed rules relating to business closure, please
    see the Oklahoma Tax Commission website at http://www.tax.ok.gov.

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