After being honorably discharged from the United States Navy in 1946, Steven J. Ratkov worked for Briggs Manufacturing as a Cost Clerk until April, 1948. Thereafter he worked as a real estate salesperson and also sold insurance in Roseville. In the fall of 1949 Mr. Ratkov completed an Income Tax Course offered by Walsh Institute of Accountancy in Detroit and began to prepare tax returns professionally.
In June, 1950 Steve and Sylvia (Gruszczynski) married. They had five children: Christine, Rosemary (deceased), Steven, Thomas and Kathryn.
In 1955 Steve acquired land on Gratiot Avenue in Roseville and broke ground on what became the Ratkov Insurance Agency building. From there Steve sold real estate and insurance and prepared income tax returns for clients. He named his tax business the Steven J. Ratkov Income Tax Service, later shortened to Ratkov Tax Service.
Today, some 66 years later his children continue to run those same income tax operations under the name Alltax Income Tax Services. And they continue to conduct business, as Mr. Ratkov wrote many years ago, ‘The Hard Way.’
‘It is comparatively easy to prosper by trickery, the violation of confidence, oppression of the weak, sharp practices, cutting corners … all of these methods that we are so prone to palliate and condone as “business shrewdness.”
It is difficult to prosper by the keeping of promises, the deliverance of value in goods, in services and in deeds … and in the meeting of so-called “shrewdness with sound merit and good ethics.”
The easy way is efficacious and speedy … the hard way arduous and long. But, as the clock ticks, the easy way becomes harder and the hard way becomes easier. And, as the calendar records the years, it becomes increasingly evident that the easy way rests hazardously upon shifting sands … whereas the hard way builds solidly a foundation of confidence that cannot be swept away.
Thus we built – from the ground up.’
Steven J. Ratkov, Sr. (age 63)
April 25, 1988