In every region of the country, chain store developers have successfully played neighboring communities against one another to gain approval for their stores and to exact the biggest tax breaks and public subsidies. But nowhere have city officials been as desperate for sales tax revenue—and thus big box stores, shopping malls, and auto dealerships—than in California, where the competition for retail development has been especially costly and destructive.
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British farmers and environmentalists are irate over the government’s new regulations governing the way major supermarket chains deal with their suppliers. The binding Code of Practice was issued in November after an extensive study found that the major supermarket chains routinely use their market power to squeeze farmers, undermine competition, and harm the public interest.
In January, Canada’s university and college bookstores filed a complaint with federal competition officials over attempts by Indigo, the country’s largest book chain, to assume control of campus bookstores. Continue reading
North Carolina law requires the state to purchase goods and services only from companies that collect sales tax on all sales in the state. Continue reading
Divorcement laws are designed to prevent oil companies from using their power within the supply chain to manipulate prices and force independent and franchise gas station owners out of business. Continue reading
In a decision that may galvanize action in other states, the California Board of Equalization (BOE) has ruled that online bookseller Borders.com must collect state sales tax.
Under a 1992 Supreme Court decision, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, states cannot compel out-of-state companies to collect sales taxes unless the company has a physical presence, or "nexus," in the state.
Arkansas has enacted a law that clarifies that retailers with stores in the state must collect sales taxes on any online purchases made by state residents.
As noted in the story above, under a 1992 Supreme Court decision, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, states cannot compel out-of-state companies to collect sales taxes unless the company has a physical presence, or "nexus," in the state.
Little more than six months after its inaugural meeting, the Northland Sustainable Business Alliance (NSBA) has grown to include more than 100 locally owned businesses located in and around the city of Duluth.
NSBA advocates a new approach to economic development that strengthens locally owned businesses while protecting and enhancing the region’s social and environmental assets. The group eschews the conventional growth-at-all-costs model of development.
San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s President Tom Ammiano has proposed a citywide ordinance that would require retail development projects larger than 50,000 square feet, with the exception of supermarkets, to undergo an impact review and obtain a conditional use permit before building.
The ordinance notes that large retail stores could impact traffic, reduce the diversity of the city’s economic base by eliminating smaller businesses, and preclude higher value industrial development on the few sizable parcels of urban real estate available. For these reasons, according to the ordinance, large retail stores warrant added scrutiny.
Citizens for Responsible Growth, a grassroots group in Agoura Hills, California, has collected enough signatures to put a measure before the voters that would limit retail stores to 60,000 square feet. The vote will be held March 5.
The city council vehemently opposes the ordinance, contending that it will reduce future sales tax revenue and invite legal challenges. Dozens of communities have enacted size caps, which have consistently been upheld by the courts as a valid use of local land use authority.