Here's a news story on this item.
Below are the remarks I plan on making to the county commission, my remarks and the news story explain that this is exactly an item on which free-market minded people should be speaking up. The county meeting agenda for Tuesday can be viewed at www.claycountygov.com
I believe both sides in this issue are good, hard-working people, so my argument is not with them. My argument is with the county commission. What we have here is a tax problem. The brick and mortar veterinary clinics say they can't compete and it's unfair because they pay taxes and the mobile clinics do not. If anyone is at a disadvantage it is because of your tax and fee policies on local business, and the proposed "solution" is to get some more money from mobile business, in order to achieve "parity" and increase Clay's "quality of life". How often do we find government in this position, where they create a "problem" though taxes, and then want to solve the "problem" with more taxes, and want to justify all the taxation through "fairness" and "general welfare."
This is nothing less than tax theft because the mobile clinics will be getting nothing whatsoever from the tax burden you want to place on them. All that will be achieved is to take their money and pass the tax burden on to their customers.
There is no justification for taxing a mobile clinic. If they put out signs they are only temporary signs, if they are to be taxed on that then you also need to tax the realtors for their temporary signs. Property taxes primarily pay for law enforcement; the mobile clinics are only in operation for a few hours a week so you cannot justify that taxation, and because they operate out of parking lots any law enforcement protection needed has already been paid for through the property taxes of the mobile clinic's host. They don't need fire protection, they don't need trash pick-up, mobile clinics operate at no cost to the county and receive nothing in exchange for any taxes placed on them, what you are proposing is tax theft.
The real problem here is the notion that any business "owns" it's customers, and therefore it is a problem if that business has to be competitive and that problem requires a government solution. That's just plain wrong. Customers have the right to take their business wherever they choose, and in this case they are choosing mobile clinics for convenience and to get better value for their money. If the brick and mortar clinics want to be competitive then they need to adapt to the current business situation. Most clinics close at lunchtime on saturdays, many people either work on saturdays or are trying to catch up on sleep after a week of labor, being at a vet's clinic early on a saturday morning is either impossible or undesirable. If the brick and mortar vets want to compete against the mobile clinics all they have to do is lower their shot prices on just saturdays-just one half-day out of their week- and open at noon rather than closing at noon. That's all they would have to do to compete and we wouldn't have a need for a "tax and tax solution" from the county commission.