10) I have to send out W-2s to employees.
11) I have to post employment practices posters for all to see. (The last set cost $275.)
• • •
What else must I do to operate this business?
1) I am expected to know and follow all OSHA safety and health regulation standards.
2) I must collect, report and pay six different sales and use taxes, for the different jurisdictions within which we operate.
3) I must track every dollar earned and spent and prove it to the government. Then I must pay an accountant thousands of dollars just to tell me how much I have to pay the government.
4) I must know and follow all Transportation Department regulations, and keep aware of the constant changes.
5) I have to track every gallon of fuel used and file fuel usage forms with both the state and federal governments.
6) I have to pay real-estate tax. (My rate for industrial property is 4.5 percent of the value of the property per year.)
7) I have to file to keep my business name.
8) I have to pass fire code inspections.
9) I have to pay attorneys tens of thousands of dollars every year because I will be sued several times each year without justification.
10) I have to listen as I am demonized by politicians for my success and have the fruits of my labor taken from me.
• • •
This is a list off the top of my head. All of that just to mow some lawns and shovel some snow.
You want to know where the middle-class jobs went? I could pay my employees twice what they make if not for all the government. I could grow my business and offer better value to my customers and better careers to my employees if I could spend my time focused on my mowing and plowing business instead of governmental compliance.
I ask myself daily: Why am I doing this with my life? How many other entrepreneurs have stayed on the sidelines or have given up because instead of doing what they love, they must spend most of their time doing what they hate — what the government mandates?
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.