Thursday, July 5, 2018

5th of July

I hope you had a happy and safe Independence Day, the first with the state's new relaxed fireworks sales laws.  Simply put, we can buy bigger stuff, and more dangerous stuff.  I don't know one person in law enforcement, one firefighter, or one medical services person who thinks this is a good idea.

But, money talks.  When the state relaxed the laws, it also hiked the fireworks tax by 18 per cent.  You pay it when you go to the store.  Fire departments also pay the tax when they hire someone to do the shows at summer time carnivals.  Always remember, businesses don't pay taxes.  They just pass that on to you.

We've already seen a few fire companies cancel carnivals.  Expenses are up.  The number of volunteers is down.

The phenomenon is not new.  When I was a kid, my church stopped its yearly summer carnival.  It was a ton of work, and it just didn't pay off.  The priest then concocted a special summer time collection.  He wanted you to take the money you would have spent at the carnival, stuff it in an envelope, and give it to the church.  I know it takes a lot of money to run a church, and even though it was done with the best of intentions, I thought the summer carnival collection was just a bad idea.  The church closed long ago.

A summer picnic or carnival is more than a money raiser.  It's a chance to get out, meet your neighbors, and bring communities together.  I really miss that.  I spent many a summer night with a ketchuppy cup of fries and a slice of pizza.  It was part of small town life, and it's unfortunate that in many places, those things no longer exist.

Churches and fire companies are the same as every other business.  If it don't pay, it don't stay.