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Photo: Lowe's store.
Featured Article filed under Independent Business, The Public Good | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | 15 Comments | Updated on Jun 16, 2015

For Cities, Big-Box Stores Are Becoming Even More of a Terrible Deal

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/dark-store-tax-tactic-makes-big-box-stores-terrible-deal-for-cities/

Under what has become known as the “dark store” method, big-box retailers are declaring their busy stores to be functionally obsolescent and therefore nearly worthless for tax purposes —and they’re winning big judgments for back taxes. It’s the latest example of the way that, even as local governments continue to bend over backwards to attract big-box development, these stores are consistently a terrible deal. Continue reading

Illustration: Seesaw
Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on May 8, 2015

How Washington Punishes Small Business

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/how-washington-punishes-small-business/

Small business looms large in American political rhetoric. From the campaign trail to the floor of the U.S. House and Senate, members of Congress love to evoke the diner and dry cleaner, the neighborhood grocer and local hardware store. Ensuring the well-being of Main Street, we might easily assume, is one of their central policy aims. The legislative track record tells another story. It is one in which the interests of big corporations are dominant, and many laws and regulations seem designed to bend the marketplace in their favor and put small, independent businesses at a competitive disadvantage. Continue reading

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Featured Article, ILSR Press Room filed under Independent Business | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Apr 30, 2015

Public Officials Must Say No to Amazon’s Request for Tax Breaks

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/public-officials-must-say-no-to-amazons-request-for-tax-breaks/

The news that Amazon wants to expand its footprint in Minnesota, but only if it wins significant public subsidies, should put both taxpayers and public officials on high alert. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 4, 2015

ILSR Joins Independent Business Groups in Pushing for Disclosure of Corporate Subsidies

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/ilsr-joins-independent-business-groups-pushing-disclosure-corporate-subsidies/

ILSR joined other members of the Advocates for Independent Business coalition in submitting a joint public comment letter in support of a landmark proposal to require local and state governments, as part of their financial reporting, to annually disclose the tax breaks and incentives they have provided to corporations in the name of economic development. Continue reading

Towards a Localist Policy Agenda
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 5, 2013

Towards a Localist Policy Agenda

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/localist-policy-agenda/

To regenerate local businesses, we’ll need more than Buy Local campaigns; we’ll need to change public policy, which now favors big business. In this presentation, Stacy Mitchell looks at seven key policy areas to focus on. Continue reading

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Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 28, 2010

Why Does Target have a Subsidiary in Bermuda?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/why-does-target-have-subsidiary-bermuda/

A growing number of big corporations are using offshore tax havens to escape paying U.S. taxes. A recent estimate suggests big companies are dodging at least $37 billion a year — and, in so doing, gaining a significant competitive advantage over small businesses. Continue reading

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Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Apr 15, 2010

Why Are the Feds Giving $900 Billion in Tax Breaks Every Year?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/why-are-feds-giving-900-billion-tax-breaks-every-year/

With April 15 upon us, I’d like to talk about taxes. Not about the part of the tax code that generates revenues. You’ve already heard enough about the taxes you pay to last a lifetime, and the election campaign has just begun. Instead, I’ll focus on the less visited topic of the taxes we don’t… Continue reading

Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 1 Comment | Updated on Sep 3, 2009

Does the NFIB Really Represent the Interests of Independent Businesses?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/does-nfib-really-represent-interests-independent-businesses/

Today, in the New York Times small business blog, Robb Mandelbaum examines the membership of the National Federation of Independent Businesses has plummeted and takes a look at how the group has lobbied for tax loopholes that boost the profits of big chains, while forcing independent businesses to pay more.   

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Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Justin Dahlheimer | No Comments | Updated on Feb 18, 2009

Years of Subsidizing Retail and Nothing to Show for It

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/years-subsidizing-retail-and-nothing-show-it/

Despite an enormous commitment of public funding to support retail development, neither taxable sales nor retail employment has grown significantly in the St. Louis, a new report finds. The report concludes that development incentives have done nothing to boost tax revenue in the metro and "the overall fiscal health of local governments in the region is increasingly tenuous. Continue reading

Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Mar 19, 2007

Giving tax breaks where credits are due

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/giving-tax-breaks-where-credits-are-due/

Giving tax breaks where credits are due President Bush’s health care plan underscores the dilemma with tax incentives: They tend to treat the rich rather than the problem. By David Morris, originally published in the Mineapolis Star Tribune, March 19, 2007 Critics of George Bush’s proposal to expand the number of Americans with health insurance… Continue reading