vest-pocket-icon-newsVest Pocket News

Vest Pocket Board Members Pushed For Reform of the Business Personal Property Tax at the Utah State Capitol on Nov. 27

Four members of Vest Pocket’s Board of Directors attended Monday’s joint Utah House and Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee hearing to urge lawmakers to reform the Business Personal Property Tax. The issue was the biggest area of concern voiced by attendees of Vest Pocket’s October small business advocacy planning meeting.

Vest Pocket’s Doug Burton (President), Carol Elliott (Advocacy Chair), and John Lair (board member) were in attendance at the Capitol on Monday to testify about the burden the tax imposes on Vest Pocket’s member businesses.

Speaking before the committee, Burton noted that many Vest Pocket members are in the retail and light manufacturing business and are burdened by not only having to pay the tax but also by the enormous amount of time required to inventory and assess the value for hundreds or thousands of individual items and to complete the required paperwork.

“Taxes should not put local, small businesses out of business”

– Vest Pocket’s Carol Elliott

Vest Pocket Advocacy Chair Carol Elliott (owner of Paletti, a local women’s clothing boutique), emphasized the impact of small business in Utah, noting that “small business hires more people in Utah than any other type of business and money that is spent in local business stays in the cities and in the state.” Elliott added, “We are the ones that hire other local businesses to (provide) services.” Elliott urged the commission to look at modifications to the code that would make it fairer for the small business community. “Taxes should not put local small businesses out of business,” she added.

Board member John Lair (President and CEO of Momentum Recycling) detailed how the tax had unfairly impacted his company. “Amongst other services we provide in the area we do all the glass recycling for Utah and the wider intermountain region.” Lair said: “We’re a very asset-heavy business, very akin to a manufacturer and so the issue that we have is two-fold. One is an issue of inequity. As a business with conveyors and hoppers and screeners and crushers, we pay tax that our friends with a similar revenue profile in software development and professional services don’t pay. So there’s a built in inequity as we talk about tangible personal property that’s taxed whereas intangible is not.”

Lair noted that the recycling industry has seen a lot of rough years. “In 2016 we had a loss in our business, and yet we still had to pay $32,000 in Business Personal Property Tax.” Lair added: “We had to borrow money and lay off an employee in order to cover this tax. That’s not how it should work in the state of Utah.”

Referring to the inequitable enforcement of the tax, Lair noted that there are many businesses that aren’t even aware of the tax and have never paid it or haven’t paid it for years. “They first learn about it when the auditor first comes into their business,” Lair said.

Burton cited two examples of the stringent application of the tax by auditors, as reported to him by Vest Pocket members:

  • The taxation of artwork hanging in a tea shop – artwork that the tea shop didn’t even own as it was on loan from the artist
  • An antique dining table that was a family heirloom that became subject to taxation because a set of business plans sat atop the dining table for a few minutes while the business owner met with the tax auditor

“This is the type of taxation that we feel is overly punitive and we don’t believe it represents the commitment that Utahns have for supporting small businesses,” Burton added. “Many of these are family-run businesses that have been in these families for generations.”

“This is the type of taxation that we feel is overly punitive and we don’t believe it represents the commitment that Utahns have for supporting small businesses”

– Vest Pocket President Doug Burton

Most lawmakers in the Committee hearing agreed that a total repeal of the Business Personal Property Tax would require a (state) Constitutional Amendment. As an alternative, Vest Pocket supports the modernization of the tax code to include the provision that any item valued under $1,000 would be exempt from an itemization of valuation for tax burden.

In its deliberations, the legislative committee discussed another possible reform option: a $30,000 deduction off the wholesale valuation of personal property for a business. Vest Pocket would also support this modification.

Following the hearing, Elliott added: “It is important that we continue to work with the taxation committee and the state tax commission with suggestions and ideas to make this a more equitable tax and to continue to level the playing field with big business and stress the importance of local small business and all they offer to their communities.”

Stay connected with Vest Pocket Business Coalition as we continue to follow this issue and others affecting your business ahead of the 2018 legislative session.

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Be sure to attend Vest Pocket’s January 2018 Legislative Warm-Up Breakfast (date to be announced soon) to learn more about bills that may affect small business as well as more info about the progress on this issue.

Rave Reviews for November’s Event: “My Business Is Out To Get Me! Reducing Stress and Finding the Work/Life Balance”

Thank You

On Nov. 8, 2017, Vest Pocket Business Coalition presented “My Business Is Out To Get Me! Reducing Stress and Finding the Work/Life Balance.”  During this workshop, presenters Steven Beal and Debbie Coleman walked attendees through a custom workbook to help them create a personal action plan for:

  • Finding a work/life balance
  • Finding time for exercise
  • De-stressing during a stressful work day
  • Making time for personal growth (rejuvenation and more sleep!)
  • Reconnecting to one’s passion — the thing that inspired the business owner to start his or her own business

The title sponsors for the Vest Pocket event were Richards, Brandt, Miller, Nelson. Additional sponsors include Local First.


Steven Beal & Debbie Coleman’s Recommended Resources


Personal Growth

Everyday Enlightenment: The Twelve Gateways to Personal Growth – By Dan Millman

TED Talks on shame and vulnerability – By Brené Brown

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead – By Brené Brown

Rising Strong – By Brené Brown

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are – By Brené Brown

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love & Wisdom – By Rick Hanson

RickHanson.net – website with lots of useful information and practical self-help tools

Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of Your Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being – By Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi

Manifesting Change: It Couldn’t Be Easier  – By Mike Dooley

TUT.com – website of Mike Dooley


Exercises for the Office

What Is The Best Workout With Resistance Bands? – https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/wotw10.htm

Chair Yoga – by Kristin McGee – KristinMcgee.com – website with free chair yoga video

Gaia.com – website for a member-supported conscious media company

10 Minute Office Chair Yoga – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DABGThUzWGs


Mindfulness and Meditation

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life – By Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Power of Now – By Eckhart Tolle

Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life – By Thich Nhat Hahn

Phone apps: Breathe; Insight Timer; Headspace; Calm


Stress Management

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom – By Don Miguel Ruiz

Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High – By Patterson,  Grenny, McMillan, Switzler

The Tools: Transform Your Problems into Courage, Confidence, and Creativity – By Phil Stutz, Barry Michels

Who Moved My Cheese – An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life  – By Spencer Johnson, M.D.


Time Management

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity By David Allen

http://gettingthingsdone.com/ – David Allen’s website

5 Time Management Tips for Small Business Owners – https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/time-management-tips-small-business-owners/


Presenter Bios

Steven Beal, Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Trauma Therapy Hypnosis Practitioner

Steven BealSteven’s approach includes a life-long commitment to learn as much as possible to help teach a balanced approach to wellness. With the knowledge that we are much more than a single aspect of expression in our personal life, Steven believes we must also approach wellness from a multi-dimensional perspective. He adds, “By creating balance between the mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, and energetic elements that exist in all of us, we attain our own best personal wellness.” Steven’s certifications include:

• Trauma Therapy Neurokinesis – Certified with Prolympian
International Trauma Coaching

• Reiki Master Teacher

• Registered and Certified with the National Guild of Hypnotists

• Personal Fitness Trainer – Certified AAFA Trainer

• Yoga Instructor – Spin Instructor

• Deeksha Spiritual Trainer – Oneness University, India

• Vibrational Healing, Trapped Emotional Release treatment


Contact info for Steven:

Phone: 801-231-8515 | Email: powderbuff14@gmail.com

Debbie Coleman, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) & Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner

Debbie ColemanDebbie’s approach is integrative – traditional mental health therapy perspective and tools – combined with working with other evidence-based practices that include mind, body, and spirit. She has worked for a number of non-profit and for profit organizations that support women and children leaving domestic violence, people going through cancer treatment, and those afflicted with substance addiction. Debbie has also maintained a private practice since 2000 assisting people dealing with life transitions, depression and anxiety, grief, and trauma related symptoms.

She has been a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner since 2016, using yogic practices of breath, movement with awareness, relaxation, and meditation to access the wisdom of the body that can translate into inspiration for change. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is a body-based modality that helps people cultivate a connection to their body, recognizing sensations, thought patterns, emotions and memories, and energetic experiences. Through a one on one session, this body connection supports a release of tension and promotes a greater sense of ease within one’s body and in life.


Contact info for Debbie:

Phone: 801-747-9534 | Email: dclpc@xmission.com

Vest Pocket Advocacy Feedback

Thank You For Joining Us For Our “Local Business Advocacy Planning Breakfast”

Thank You

Vest Pocket Business Coalition held our Local Business Advocacy Planning Breakfast on October 25 at the Pig & a Jelly Jar restaurant in Holladay. More than 30 business owners attended to learn from founding board member and past-President Karin Palle about Vest Pocket’s long history of advocating for local, independent businesses.

This was followed by a great discussion led by Vest Pocket Advocacy Chair Carol Elliott and Advocacy Co-Chair Jon Parry on the following issues:

  • Personal Property Taxes on Business Tangible Property – The most hotly discussed issue in the event was frustration over the personal property tax requirements. Most business tangible personal property is subject to property tax under Utah state law. Furniture, fixtures, machinery, equipment and even supplies are all subject to taxation unless exempted. Notable exceptions are personal property with a total aggregate fair market value of $10,300 or less within a single county and inventory held for resale in the normal course of business. Many Vest Pocket businesses spend substantial time each year taking inventory of all personal property, preparing the required Personal Property Signed Statement, and paying the tax due. Businesses are also subject to audits by county assessors that can take up significant time and resources. Vest Pocket will work for reform of the personal property tax system in Utah because it is particularly burdensome on our local, independent businesses.
  • Efairness – Vest Pocket has been a strong proponent of “E-fairness” legislation the past few years, including supporting E-fairness legislation at the Utah State Legislature. “E-fairness” legislation is designed to level the playing field between brick and mortar retail businesses and online retailers by requiring online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases that is already due under state law. While the Utah Legislature in the 2018 session might not consider “E-fairness” legislation again, Vest Pocket will continue to advocate on this issue at both the state and national levels.
  • Liquor laws (new .05% blood alcohol limit) –  In December 2018, the new Utah statue limiting a driver’s blood alcohol content to .05% takes effect. Even though the law does not become effective until December 2018, and the current BAC limit remains at .08%, restaurants and other establishments serving alcohol in Utah are already experiencing drops in business as people believe the law is effective now.  Vest Pocket advocates that the legislature reconsider the .05% limit and wait for other states to lower the BAC level from the current .08% limit before lowering the allowable BAC limit.

Other issues Vest Pocket is focusing on include the ‘Count My Vote’ initiative, increasing public funding for education, tax incentives for growth of independent businesses (just like large businesses considering relocation or expansion in Utah are often given), and support for clean air initiatives.

If you own a small business and you weren’t able to join for our planning breakfast we still want to hear from you. Let us know what small issues Vest Pocket should be focusing our advocacy efforts on.

Click below to send us your feedback now.

Send Feedback

Vest Pocket’s advocacy team will be active in the 2018 Utah legislative session and is working to possibly hire a professional lobbyist to help increase our efficacy in advocating for the interests of local, independently-owned businesses in Utah.  To increase Vest Pocket’s impact, we encourage you to become a member or renew your membership, and let other local business owners know about our group. Positive change will happen only if we band together and work for our common interests as local, independent business owners.

The title sponsor for the October Vest Pocket event was Richards, Brandt, Miller, Nelson. Additional sponsors included Local First and Pig & A Jelly Jar.

Opportunities Abound To Get Involved with Vest Pocket

Vest Pocket is growing quickly and we’re looking for volunteers who are passionate about helping local, independent business owners. Currently, we’re looking for people who have a few hours each month to help in one of the following roles:


Board Treasurer

For this role, you need not be a CPA or accountant but an understanding of basic business accounting and a passion for managing budgets are essential. The person in this position will also serve on our Executive Committee and will help advise on the direction of the organization.

Time commitment : 6-8 hours per month


Communications Committee Co-Chair

The person in this position would serve on our board of directors alongside our current Communications Chair. This role requires strong communications skills and the ability to help us facilitate more in-depth conversations with our members.

Time commitment : 6-8 hours per month


Events/Education Committee Member

We have the need for 2-3 additional committee members who can us plan, promote, and interact with other business owners at our monthly educational and social events. Good planning and communication skills and a passion for meeting and networking with other local business owners are a must.

Time commitment : 3-4 hours per month


Membership Committee Members

We have the need for 2-3 additional committee members who can us with our upcoming membership drive. If you have a passion for helping connect local business owners with our advocacy, education, and mentoring programs we’d like to talk with you.

Time commitment : 3-4 hours per month


Videographer/Video Editor

We’re going to begin capturing and sharing video of our educational events and we’re looking for a local videographer and/or video editor who can help with this process.

Time commitment : 3-4 hours per month


Graphic Designer

Compelling graphics are instrumental to effective communications. If you know your way around Photoshop and Illustrator and have an eye for good design, we need your help.

Time commitment : 3-4 hours per month


If you’re interested in helping Vest Pocket in any of these areas, please contact Doug Burton, Board President, at dburton@saltworksagency.com

Thanks for Joining Us For The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Managing Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

Join Vest Pocket on Sept. 20th For The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Managing Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

Being your own boss, controlling your own destiny, pursuing your dream – all reasons why you might have chosen to start your own business. But as small business owners we face some unique stressors – financial stress, professional isolation, long hours and blurred boundaries between home and family life. All of these factors can have a huge impact on our mental health.

On Wed., Sept. 20th Vest Pocket presented the first event in our Mental Health For Small Business Owners series. Speakers included clinical psychologist Steven J. Chen, Ph.D., licensed clinical social worker Ed Peterson, (owner of Sugar House Family Therapy), and Steven Beal, certified neurokinesis trauma therapist and Reiki master teacher.

In the coming weeks Vest Pocket Business Coalition will be announcing two additional events focusing on Mental Health for Small Business Owners which will be presented in the next six months.

Highlights

Steven Beal on “Vibrational Healing”

Speaker Bios


Steven J. Chen, Ph.D.

Steven J. Chen, Ph.DSteven was trained in Clinical Psychology and obtained his Ph.D. in 1992. He has worked at a Veterans Administration Hospital assisting our servicemen and women in working through PTSD and other challenging problems.

Steven was Director of Psychology at the Utah State Hospital for five years, overseeing the psychological assessment and treatment of several hundred patients. He was responsible for a full psychological staff and psychology trainees during his tenure. He then worked as Deputy Director of the Department of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) with an annual budget of $100 million and overseeing 20,000 lives in the state of Utah.

Since 2000, Steven has worked as an organizational consultant specializing in helping CEOs and top level executives identify, develop, and accelerate individual, team and organizational performance through maximizing high achieving human behavior.

Steven has worked with several thousand individuals, teams, and organizations over the past 29 years. His focus is on assisting senior leadership in reaching critical goals through ensuring the right individuals are in the best suited roles, and assisting transformational change for success.


Ed Peterson, LCSW, MBA

Ed Peterson, LCSW

Ed is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice in Salt Lake City, Utah.

He is also the Clinical Director of “the block” a substance abuse Intensive outpatient program in Salt Lake City. “the bloc” is owned by Balance House, a nationally renowned recovery program and sober living home.

Ed also owns and operates Sugarhouse Family Therapy. Ed works mainly with adults age 18-75. He specializes in therapy for addiction, trauma, families, codependency, relationships, marriage, mood disorders, and anxiety disorders. Ed’s experience and training is in the following areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) Couples Therapy, Jungian Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Group Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Mindfulness, and Mind-Body bridging (MBB) for trauma.

Ed worked as a therapist and primary counselor for five years at Cirque Lodge, a world-renowned drug and alcohol treatment center in the mountains of Utah. Ed’s Cirque Lodge experience taught him the skills of addictions therapy, the skills of family work, and ignited in him a passion for recovery. While at Cirque, Ed delivered a monthly lecture titled “The Family System of Addiction” during the Cirque Family Week.

As a recovering person, Ed understands the devastation and destruction that addiction creates for addicts and their families. Ed’s style is highly encouraging to his clients. He encourages them to take calculated emotional risks and to do the hard emotional and spiritual work needed to heal and recover. He believes that families need their own programs of recovery and he teaches families the skills to improve family communication, improve self-care and increase personal serenity. Ed also believes that families can recover from the pain and suffering of codependency if they will learn to love appropriately, maintain healthy boundaries, and practice self-care. Ed cares deeply for the process of growth and change.

Ed is the father of three and happily married to his partner Candace.


Steven Beal, Certified Reiki Master Teacher and Fitness Trainer

Steven Beal• Trauma Therapy Neurokinesis – Certified with Prolympian International Trauma Coaching

• Reiki Master Teacher

• Registered and Certified with the National Guild of Hypnotists

• Personal Fitness Trainer – Certified AAFA Trainer

• Yoga Instructor – Spin Instructor

• Deeksha Spiritual Trainer – Oneness University, India

• Vibrational Healing, Trapped Emotional Release treatment