The MBJ story on utility company donations caught my eye (Oct. 4, 2010 issue). I have long felt that utility companies should not be allowed to donate ratepayers’ money to charities since utilities are monopolies.
It’s totally different if a private company chooses to donate funds to charity since, in fact, the owners are making the contribution themselves and are free to donate or keep the money in the bank. Not so with utility donations wherein customers pay for the donations through higher utility rates. Utility customers should enjoy lower rates and make their own charitable donation decisions.
Before the charges of hypocrisy begin I will freely admit that many nonprofits that I have been associated with have benefited from utility donations. I feel no guilt whatsoever. If they’re going to donate “my” nonprofits might as well get their head in the trough, too.
Keep up the good work at MBJ.
Joe D. Jones, CPA
McInvale Heating & Air
Editor’s Note: Joe Jones is publisher emeritus of the Mississippi Business Journal.