News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Did Daily withhold some smoking-ordinance details in order to mislead public?

To The Daily: I was wondering if your facts were straight in your last article about what businesses the smoking ban would affect. I’ve been keeping up with this issue via your paper, and in every article you make the claims that the ban is for all public businesses. All except one. The article that came out on Aug. 19 claims the ban includes any business that has employees.

I recently worked for a manufacturing business, and even though the owners of the plant strongly disliked smoking, they understood the value of keeping up morale and designated an enclosed area for smokers. They even installed an exhaust system and allowed access to a heater. Are you telling me these people will now have to go outside to smoke? Decatur has a plethora of factories, both big and small, full of smoking workers. These businesses do not cater to the public. They work for other businesses. Usually any visitor is subjected to strict safety protocols before entering, and no one smokes inside the plant other than in designated areas.

With the way our council runs things, we need The Daily more than ever to give us the facts — all the facts. It’s quite apparent the people of Mayberryville will never actually be able to vote on important matters (like a more progressive city to our north), but if the people are made aware of all the real facts, we have to at least hope we can some day put an end to the council’s totalitarian control.

So my question is this: Could it be possible that the Aug. 19 article was a typo, or did The Daily deliberately conceal this information so as not to rally every business owner in town?

Ben Williamson

Smoke completely ruins an otherwise good meal

To The Daily: I would like to thank Mayor Don Kyle and the majority of the City Council for passing the smoking ban.

I am not a big fan of government dictating what people can do, but in this case, many smokers are inconsiderate of people who don’t smoke.

I applaud Applebee’s for taking the lead and going smoke free several months ago. That is the only place in town where my wife and I feel comfortable eating because we are both allergic to smoke.

Both my parents smoked when I was growing up, thus I have asthma and many upper respiratory problems because of that exposure.

It completely ruins a good meal to get a constant flow of smoke while I am eating. Thanks again to the mayor for not vetoing the ban and to the three council members for voting in favor of the ban.

Bill Rudolph

Unfair to double-tax defined-benefit plans

To The Daily: Your Aug. 21 editorial “State should tax retiree pay fairly” was interesting but revealed a lack of understanding of basic economics and tax principles.

Why are defined-benefit retirement proceeds and defined-contribution retirement plans proceeds taxed differently? As I am sure you know, in most cases the employee contributions to defined-benefit retirement plans are after-tax funds. That is, you have already paid tax on the funds that you put into your retirement plan. In a defined-contribution retirement plan, the employee contribution is deducted from taxable income thus paid with untaxed funds. The result is that, for the amount of contribution, taxing the proceeds of a defined-benefit plan would involve double taxation, while taxing the proceeds of a defined-contribution plan involves taxation only one time.

This principle of taxing the same funds only one time per person is a long-established concession to fairness although often violated (sales tax, for example). My memory is not that great, but I believe the federal courts have taken that view in a case involving the state of Alabama, the state retirement system, and the federal retirement system about 20 to 30 years ago. This is not a simple principle to explain simply, but it is true nevertheless.

Vernon Ayre

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