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Tuesday, May 3, 2011
In Northport and Beyond
Do you recognize him? It’s Bruce Viger on the roof of the future Garage Door Bar & Grill, just to the south of Dog Ears Books on Waukazoo Street in Northport. And when we say “future,” I'm sure we’re talking near future. I don’t yet have an opening date from Bruce, but as soon as he gives me the word, I’ll pass it along.
On the national bookselling scene, it took a female David to stand up to the online Goliath bookseller. Governor Nikki Haley said South Carolina wanted a big distribution center but not at the expense of in-state retailers who collect sales tax for the state. “We don’t want to be known as the state that is desperate to grab anybody and anything,” she said, pointing out that it’s important for South Carolina to do right by its home-grown businesses by insisting on a level playing field. You can read the whole recent article from the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Meanwhile Tennessee rolled over for the sake of new jobs, and the hell with the old jobs that will be lost and businesses that will go under because of preferential treatment for the newcomer. Here’s the rest of that story.
Someone in Chicago thinks there should be a federal law regulating the payment of state sales tax by online retailers. I don’t think so. Sales tax is the business of each state—whether or not to have sales tax, what to tax, how much, etc. I’m sure a lot of chief executives and legislators would be happy not to have to make decisions about online sellers, but those decisions are part of their job. As for me, I’m cheering for South Carolina’s governor, because if enough other governors had her guts the behemoth would no longer be able to call the shots.
Businesses selling books in Michigan should be paying Michigan sales tax. I don't have a problem with that; why should the Big Guy? He'll only play if the rest of us are hobbled and he rides free? Readers, please think about where and how you buy your books and how your bookseller does or does not support your community.
This is my Lenten rose, hellebore, still blooming well after Easter. Of course, my forsythia are still holding their buds tightly closed, so there you are.