Letters to the Editor

Taxpayer money lets chamber spend elsewhere

A recent story outlined the forthcoming distribution of accommodations tax money on Hilton Head Island.

Thirty-one applicants are seeking funds. Approximately $815,000 will be available. Heading the list for the largest amount is the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, with a request for $425,000 for marketing and $91,300 for a training program, a total of $516,300.

Don't forget the $1 million that goes to the chamber for marketing as its designated marketing agent. That's a grand total of $1,516,300, all taxpayer money.

Let's break that down. The $425,000 just about covers chamber president Bill Miles' compensation, reported as $344,251 for fiscal year 2009.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with which our local chamber must be associated, has recently made national headlines for receiving questionable contributions, as well as lobbying against a law that would give a tax break to companies that do not outsource jobs overseas to cheap labor markets. The national chamber is protecting businesses that want access to cheap labor.

My concern is that taxpayer money given to local chambers might be used as sponge money for local use, and money given by other sources is sent to the national chamber for activities that are not in the best interest of the of U.S.

Charlie SinatraHilton Head Island