Join the Campaign for E-Fairness Now

salestaxfairness_10In the remaining weeks of this Congressional session, it is expected that the U.S. Senate will be voting to reauthorize a long-standing ban on Internet access taxes. Senators who support e-fairness (Internet sales tax reform) are urging their colleagues to take this opportunity to add an e-fairness measure to the bill.

The issue is that independent brick-and-mortar retailers are at a significant competitive disadvantage because they are required to collect state and local sales taxes, while many of their large online competitors are not. Combined state and local sales tax rates range from 6% to 10% in most states and can top 12% in some cities, according to the Tax Foundation.

Many small businesses, as well as the National Bicycle Dealers Association, favor a level playing field in which all retailers — whether they operate online, through a physical location, or both — are subject to the same requirements to collect sales taxes. Allowing remote retailers to skirt their obligation to collect sales taxes gives these companies a significant competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar businesses.

A coalition of independent business groups (Advocates for Independent Business) is now Continue reading “Join the Campaign for E-Fairness Now”

Bike Shop Survival is in Everyone’s Interest

shopexteriorWhen people in the bike world think of cycling infrastructure, they usually think of places to ride. Bike paths, bike friendly roads and off-road trails are all part of the necessary network for riding a bicycle.

But there is more to infrastructure than asphalt, concrete and off-road trails. Many bicycle dealers are becoming increasingly vocal that they are infrastructure too, and that a robust future for cycling in America revolves around bike shops.

The dictionary describes infrastructure as the “underlying base or foundation for an organization or system.” By that definition, bike shops can definitely be considered as infrastructure. It’s a rare cyclist who hasn’t taken advantage of a bike shop sometime in their life for bikes, accessories, test rides, repair, service and advice.

Bike shops as infrastructure is more than mere semantics. If bike shops are infrastructure, the fight for the future of the independent dealer becomes much more than a marketplace issue. If bike shops are infrastructure, the continued decline in the number of bike shops across the country is every cyclist’s and bicycle advocate’s problem.

From a bike dealer in Kansas, “Having a pony in the race does not mean that we aren’t telling the truth. The big question Continue reading “Bike Shop Survival is in Everyone’s Interest”