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Amazon Pays Less Tax Than A Sausage Stall <Rant>


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#1 EGOL

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 11:33 AM

Huge companies with billions in monthly revenue might not be paying any taxes in some of the states and countries where they do business.

I didn't like that concept. However, some people want to hit them with taxes and then use the money to subsidize print media or another category of struggling business.

http://www.independe...r-a7223666.html

Apple is getting slapped for billions in tax that they should have paid Ireland. Amazon fired me and lots of other affiliates to avoid collecting tax in certain states.

The one that really burns my buns is when Pennsylvania taxpayers were volunteered by the governor to pay Royal Dutch Shell $1.65 BILLION to lure them into building a $6B facility within the borders of the state.

Wal-Mart regularly gets millions in tax breaks to lure them into building a store in specific jurisdictions. After Wal-Mart arrives, local businesses starve, the employees lose their jobs and must work at Wal-Mart for less money and see their taxes paid to the company who created their demise.

This stuff is nuts. If these huge companies can't make money on their own ventures then why are governments paying them millions to billions?

Politicians love to toss big money at giant businesses and create tax loopholes for them, but small businesses and their employees are expected to pay for it.

Edited by EGOL, 04 September 2016 - 11:35 AM.


#2 glyn

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 02:00 PM

Because that is way to complicated for politicians to understand?

#3 EGOL

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 03:27 PM

That means we are electing the wrong people!



#4 iamlost

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 07:24 PM

You don't want me to get going on this - I don't want me to get going on this :)



#5 EGOL

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Posted 04 September 2016 - 07:32 PM

I was trying to bait you. :-)

You will probably tell me that I am not paying any taxes in New Jersey.

Edited by EGOL, 04 September 2016 - 08:10 PM.


#6 earlpearl

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Posted 05 September 2016 - 02:24 PM

You don't want me to get going on this - I don't want me to get going on this :)


Aw c'mon

#7 glyn

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 01:00 AM

It fun finally arriving at the limits of your verbose iamlost.

#8 iamlost

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 07:51 AM

I will not rise to the fly, I will ignore the wiggly worm and the shiny lures...





Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.

#9 glyn

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 01:12 PM

Its good to see your limits of intellect being reached at long last.

#10 earlpearl

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 02:52 PM

While I often express a "lefty political bent" (which is often equated with government spending) I agree with EGOL above on the often stupidness of governments (often state governments in the states) giving large tax breaks to businesses that relocate or build a plant, somewhat like the offer PA made to Royal Dutch Shell he referenced.  Too often the businesses simply don't meet their requirements, or the "payback' is never enough to fulfill the tax break.  Often worse is how professional sports teams will blackmail a city to get the city to underwrite the enormous cost of construction of some stadium or arena.  Screw em all.  Let the teams leave.  (and I'm a rabid sports fan). 

 

Politicians, on the whole, have such a low level of economic understanding that they will endlessly make stupid decisions on these issues, more often influenced by whatever political persuasion they carry than the dollars and cents of these decisions. 

 

Large companies do get away with a lot of cr@p.  Its a crying shame.



#11 EGOL

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Posted 06 September 2016 - 03:26 PM

Too often the businesses simply don't meet their requirements, or the "payback' is never enough to fulfill the tax break.

 

When a business is given a $1,000,000 tax credit they can often sell that tax credit at a discount.  Plenty of other businesses would be thrilled to pay them $900,000 today for a tax credit that they can use tomorrow.   There is a real market in tax credits.

 

Also, that tax credit might be structured to be $200,000/year for five years.   You can bet your buns that as soon as the five years are over, a lot of companies who receive tax credits are ready to move their entire business to cash in on a new deal.



#12 earlpearl

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 01:10 PM

 

When a business is given a $1,000,000 tax credit they can often sell that tax credit at a discount.  Plenty of other businesses would be thrilled to pay them $900,000 today for a tax credit that they can use tomorrow.   There is a real market in tax credits.

 

Also, that tax credit might be structured to be $200,000/year for five years.   You can bet your buns that as soon as the five years are over, a lot of companies who receive tax credits are ready to move their entire business to cash in on a new deal.

Just announced today.  Marriott, which started in DC and has been headquartered in the DC area, and very specifically Montgomery County in Maryland for decades and decades, just decided to solidify a future relocation in Montgomery County.   They had been looking for a relocation for their headquarters for about 1 year and had specified that they wanted to be on or immediately near a subway line (DC subway system = Metro or wmata.com).   The metro requirement arose as current employees (talent/staff) has shown a STRONG preference for office locations on the metro system  (take metro/don't drive).    Maryland, Virginia, and DC were all competing for their occupancy.   The projection for a new headquarters building is somewhere around 700,000 sq ft (currently) Using an antiquated measurement/estimate of # of employees on site that might mean about 2800 staff (4/thousand sq ft.).  Current ways to measure this would be more per thousand/sq ft--say 5 or even 6 as firms are adjusting to the digital world without file cabinets, big offices, etc etc.

 

Now how about that TAX INCENTIVE question????     Per today's news Marriott will get a state/county tax abatement of $44 million.   A hefty amount!!!!!!!

 

My gut is that these things NEVER pan out for the jurisdictions and its residents/tax payers.  Do any of you have examples where there was a positive payoff????

 

What I find specifically problematic about these deals are all the sports stadia and arenas that are paid for by tax payers.  Supposedly Las Vegas is working to attract a major sports team and they are proposing an additional hotel tax to fund some major edifice, for some freaking team that will sit there for x years, enrich its owners and then probably move elsewhere.

 

its a rip off.

 

RANT OVER   :spambuster:



#13 EGOL

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 01:40 PM

Do any of you have examples where there was a positive payoff????

 

I am sure that it is kickass for the business :-) 

 

.... and as soon as the business stays their five years or however long it takes to satisfy the terms of their tax incentive agreement, they will be shopping for another tax incentive in a different area, they will probably be shopping long before their agreement is met.  They will pull up their stakes, transfer their current best employees, and give everyone else a pink slip.

 

In my example above Pennsylvania taxpayers are paying Royal Dutch Shell $1.65 BILLION to build a facility within the state.  Now there is enough resource for three or four of these facilities... the special site in Pennsylvania would have been occupied by one of them without any incentives paid at all. 



#14 bobbb

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 02:02 PM

What I find specifically problematic about these deals are all the sports stadia and arenas that are paid for by tax payers.

Montreal went through that with their Expos. The solution to that type of deal would be for the taxpayer government which pays the subsidy to own the players contract. Forget whatever else the companies might have to put up for the new stadium to be build.

 

I would have been for building a new stadium even though I don't follow baseball except in October.



#15 earlpearl

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 06:46 PM

Speaking about how much taxpayers underwrite stadiums here is an article abt $6.7 billion for NFL football stadiums. http://www.espn.com/...dium-era-closes

$6.7 billion that would easily pay for a dome and heaters over "Lost's" home so he wouldn't have to brace those icy winters barefoot. In fact 10-20 such domes for the neighbors.

#16 EGOL

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 07:30 PM

That's an amazing amount of money for facilities that get less than full time use.  

 

Somebody somewhere is making dough from throwing money around.



#17 earlpearl

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 08:01 PM

That's an amazing amount of money for facilities that get less than full time use.  
 
Somebody somewhere is making dough from throwing money around.


Yeah. The team owners.

#18 EGOL

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 03:54 AM

How many people know this?   Before your comments, I thought "the game" was self supporting.



#19 earlpearl

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 05:41 AM

Now as to baseball stadia a story now dated and moot but accurate. George Bush (the younger) gained his wealth by being a part owner of the Texas Rangers baseball team. His group threatened their city with moving to another city if the locals didn't pass a bill to fund the new stadium. The bill passed. Tax payer supported new stadium. Bush's group sold team or was it he sold his share for great big big profit curtesy to a large part from tax payers paying for the stadium.

The irony of course was that when Bush ran for President he promised voters tax cuts and used verbiage such as. "It's your money and you know best what to do with it"

Sounds great of course and it might be true.... unless some local team owners threaten to relocate to Kalamazoo or elsewhere.

#20 cre8pc

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 07:55 AM

I was shocked to see how much they take from sellers.  I have a side business where I sell handmade stuff on Etsy and was accepted into Amazon's new Handmade shop.  Amazon takes an easy $5 off the top (give or take whatever I charge), plus customers have to pay for shipping, taxes, etc.  And there is a fee to be a seller, which they waived for Handmade folks for the first year (maybe to generate users.)

 

Etsy takes a smaller cut but I face a mammoth amount of competition there. For both, if this isn't your only business, its impossible to stay out front of potential customers, even with paying for extra advertising. I do better selling in local shops and word of mouth.

 

Local shops will take a cut but there is no shipping costs to contend with.



#21 bobbb

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 09:32 AM

The irony of course was that when Bush ran for President he promised voters tax cuts and used verbiage such as. "It's your money and you know best what to do with it"

Didn't his father say "read my lips"?

Is there any stadium owned by the team owners? Cities always fall for this trick and build facilities with our money.



#22 earlpearl

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:15 AM

Didn't his father say "read my lips"?

Is there any stadium owned by the team owners? Cities always fall for this trick and build facilities with our money.

 

I used George Bush as an example b/c he is a public figure and b/c he ran for Pres, and in his case revealed taxes and income history one could track his wealth.  It was tied to ownership in that team and he made beaucoup $$$ when he sold his ownership share.  Also the big increase was totally tied to that stadium, paid for by taxpayers.   Well the irony is just precious isn't it?

 

A minority of new stadiums were paid for by private sources (ie the owners).  I wonder if this translates to Canada.  I think the Montreal Expo's left b/c they couldn't get a new stadium --at least I think that...not sure)

 

Its business/sports threats of kidnapping.  If I were to sweep in and kidnap you Bobbb and lock you up in a closet I could contact your amazingly wealthy family and try and extract millions.  If I were caught I'd go to jail.  When team owners threaten to "kidnap" the team and move it, its an implicit threat to the locals.  But its alllllll legal.  Over many years its worked countless times.  Occasionally it doesn't work; the citizens won't pay for the new stadium and usually the team moves elsewhere.   Legal kidnapping. 

 

Mel Brooks coined this phrase and I bet Trump wakes up every morning and savors it...before he starts tweeting.  ---> Its good to be the KIng!!!   (warning---one might find this offensive)  (as for me I've always remembered the phrase...less so that scene.  I think he repeated the phrase in some similar type scenes though)



#23 bobbb

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:22 AM

A minority of new stadiums were paid for by private sources (ie the owners).  I wonder if this translates to Canada.  I think the Montreal Expo's left b/c they couldn't get a new stadium --at least I think that...not sure)

Correct.

 

In post #14 above I had what I think would have been a solution for taxpayers to build a new stadium:

The solution to that type of deal would be for the taxpayer government which pays the subsidy to own the players contract.

Sort of like taking collateral for a loan.



#24 earlpearl

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:25 AM

Correct.

 

In post #14 above I had what I think would have been a solution for taxpayers to build a new stadium:

Sort of like taking collateral for a loan.

And yes you did!!!!!   If the cities owned the teams the owners couldn't hijack them to some other city and jerk the fans around.  I'd be up for it. 



#25 bobbb

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:34 AM

Not exactly own the team with all that implies but have the contract as collateral to prevent moves... effectively backing the loan to build the stadium where the gov't lends the $. I'd even accept interest free and/or some partial payment type deal... any deal where we are not hostages to these owners. Because sport teams are good for business. Really good.


Edited by bobbb, 29 March 2017 - 10:35 AM.


#26 earlpearl

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 10:57 AM

 Because sport teams are good for business. Really good.

 

Another irony as the Washington Nats are the former and transplanted Montreal Expo's.   This rooftop bar sitting above a hotel very close to the baseball stadium has great views of the field and games and has gotten to be quite popular.

 

Livecast the broadcast on your mobile, tablet or laptop and you can follow the whole game in a nifty setting while not paying for seats!!!!!



#27 bobbb

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:14 AM

Really you can see the game better on TV with all the angles they show you, replays, etc.... but It is not like being there. (I'm thinking hockey games but not in the nose bleed section)

 

Still tooooo expensive. Would not pay for the seats.



#28 iamlost

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 11:49 AM

I've always rather liked the nonprofit community ownership model of the Greenbay Packers. It truly is the 'local' team.

#29 EGOL

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:11 PM

I've always rather liked the nonprofit community ownership model of the Greenbay Packers. It truly is the 'local' team.

 

That sounds like a good way to do things.  Then rich team owners are not mooching from the taxpayers.



#30 earlpearl

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Posted 29 March 2017 - 12:20 PM

Anyway back to the data above:  Estimated to be $6.7 billion of local/regional taxpayer dough just to keep the teams in the area.  That is just the NFL football teams:  Doesn't include baseball teams, arenas for hockey and basketball etc.  Good racket for the team owners.  Bad deals for the taxpayers.  Legalized blackmail.  of course its not quite as bad as Pirate or mafia blackmail.  No ears cut off.  They just move the team to the next city.



#31 earlpearl

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 04:43 PM

Speaking about how much taxpayers underwrite stadiums here is an article abt $6.7 billion for NFL football stadiums. http://www.espn.com/...dium-era-closes

$6.7 billion that would easily pay for a dome and heaters over "Lost's" home so he wouldn't have to brace those icy winters barefoot. In fact 10-20 such domes for the neighbors.

....and some more on big bad stadium/taxpayer deals...todays story Cincinnati overwhelmed by stadium debt



#32 EGOL

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 07:52 PM

This stadium stuff is right up there with Bernie Maddoff.

#33 bobbb

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 11:01 PM

Yep. Except it's legal.



#34 earlpearl

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:25 AM

A different kind of example of this is with the expansion of the DC subway/metro system into the far reaches of Northern Va that was fairly recently completed.

Several big issues currently. The system has been breaking down. Maintence is way under funded and desperate for upgrades and lastly ridership on this much promoted expansion is below projections.

The whole thing requires a lot more $$$$. Billions I imagine. It's going to be taxpayer money primarily.

Who made out on this expensive expansion??? Not huge corporations or sports team owners. It turned out to be the landowners/ developers of sites near the metro stops. Their zoning rights were expanded and the land exploded in value.

Who always supported and pushed for this over decades (among others). The land owners.

 

(must add that back around 2000 I had left the commercial real estate industry and was looking around to do something different.  I was "recruited" by a person I knew to join a consortium of consultants that were from huge construction companies.  I joined a group primarily made up of civil engineers and they were tasked with developing the very large, very expensive Federal Environmental Impact Study (FEIS...or EIS) mandated by law for these type projects.  I was added b/c I knew zoning/development and issues like that, some of which were an important component of the competitive requests for funding from the Department of Transportation to build these types of things.--I knew nothing of these processes at the time.   Anyway I was part of that study ultimately leading to the approval and construction of this expansion of a subway system.

 

You can read about this project here  

 

You can read about the short fall of ridership from original plans here

 

I was part of the team that developed those original ridership projections.  Way off!!!   We made them around 2000/2001 and the article was written about first year of traffic covering 2014-2015.  Hmmm   so much for planning, projections and trying to foretell the future.)

 

Anyway its simply one more example of these projects that end up costing tax payers a hellova lot of money.   Meanwhile some person or entity walks to the bank with all that value borne by the taxpayers. 


Edited by earlpearl, 19 May 2017 - 11:04 AM.


#35 bobbb

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 01:10 PM

Here is a guy b*tch*ng about Amazon:

This Analyst Claims the U.S. Postal Service is Giving Amazon a Huge Subsidy

http://fortune.com/2...ervice-subsidy/

But Sandbulte’s investment firm holds FedEx stock, meaning he has a direct interest in critiquing the USPS, and his analysis is debatable on several points.

 

But this is not why I posted this.

 

Near the end they mention something we have said for years:

Amazon is hardly alone in getting a boost from the USPS’s complex pricing. Thanks to international agreements through the United Nations, international shippers—especially those sending small packages from China— often get services at substantially below cost. That puts U.S. stores and domestic online sellers alike at a persistent disadvantage.

Key statement:

That puts U.S. [and Canadian] stores and domestic online sellers alike at a persistent disadvantage. (no kidding)

Canada post must also be subsidising.



#36 glyn

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 01:55 PM

I just feel we are missing a perspective here

#37 earlpearl

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 11:33 AM

I just feel we are missing a perspective here

I know I went off topic.  Lead us back.



#38 iamlost

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 03:13 PM

Let's go full devil's advocate:

Most of these companies are mostly playing by the rules. In other words they are doing doing little/nothing legally wrong. In current circumstances.

So, call your local politician.
Unfortunately that person is probably also playing corporate/organisation shell games for personal benefit.

I've always said that the two most important persons in one's professional life are one's attorney and one's accountant. If the cash flow warrants it add a tax attorney. As webdevs we know about the benefits of good site architecture and navigation. The same holds true for business.

Each of my sites is a limited company. All sites in a niche are owned by a holding company. All holding companies are owned, in turn, by a primary holding company. Plus there is a separate marketing company, separate development company and a separate research company. Each site has n-revenue but needs pay for accrued and running development costs; each site pays all specific and a portion of overall marketing costs; development pays for research; etc. Revenue can be shifted, legitimately, to minimise tax payable.

The rules exist. So play the game and take advantage where one can.

Afterthought: I'm all for Turks and Caicos becoming part of Canada... the climate is delightful... and our major banks are already there taking advantage...



#39 glyn

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:11 PM

And that is how Italian banks started a là Medici.

#40 bobbb

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 02:43 PM

Rothschild, Goldman, Sachs, Morgan, Lehman, Wells, Fargo, et al. Oops scratch shark bait Lehman.





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