The Bee's headline Dec. 16 declared "Air District's commute plan drops fines -- Valley air officials won't penalize businesses." It was the most erroneous headline since Chicago Daily Tribune heralded "Dewey Defeats Truman!"
Under the new rule, any employer with 100 employees must register with the District in 180 days or face a $1,000 per day fine. If an employee-commute plan is twice rejected, or an employer fails to compile a "mandatory employee commute survey," it's a potential $10,000 per day fine. These fine levels aren't imaginary, they are statutory.
The district claimed our local employers were lucky to not face the fines applied in Los Angeles. An LA employer pays $60 per employee to avoid that district's commute rule. Here, an employer of 100 faces a $7,000 fine if they are a week late in their filings. It's a $10,000 per day fine if they are negligent. Do the math and decide which air district is harsher on its employers.
The following day, The Bee reported that the district adopted the commute rules. It also reported that Fresno ranked second to the last in a ranking of 101 regions that are "best cities for business." Perhaps there's a connection.
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