I am thrilled that the Orange City Council is awarding TRW $200,000 to stay in the city ("TRW and 1,200 Jobs to Remain in Orange," May 13). Since the council is in such a generous mood, I'm proposing they also help the antique and collectible dealers with rent rebates.
Hundreds of us small dealers have made downtown a unique and colorful business district, generating millions of dollars in sales. Meanwhile we are being individually skewered by disproportionate business fees and high rents of approximately $4 per square foot per month.
I rent a space in one of Orange's antique malls. My city license fees are $50 per year. Since my sales are only about $10,000 per year, I am paying 0.5% of my total income directly to the city.
A business with $300,000 in yearly sales pays $155, or 0.05% in fees, one-tenth my percentage. TRW, with 1,200 employees, receives $200,000 from Orange, or $166 per employee per year.
My proposal is that the City Council now consider awarding a $166 yearly rebate to each of the small dealers before we start looking for greener pastures elsewhere.