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Large retailers - big box stores - do some get to keep sales tax they collect?

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posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 05:41 PM
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I would have to say that as far back as maybe 2003-2005 I remembered reading a number of articles in papers in the state (PA) that discussed incentives for big box stores (from Wal-mart Super centers, Cabela's, Bass Pro, and other large specialty "Destination" stores) where they lobbied the local government and state government to allow them to keep the state sales tax the collected in addition to "local county tax" (if there was one, like 1% in a couple counties) - so here that could be up to 7% tax they could keep on their taxable sales.

Now I remember this very specifically because there was a HUGE uproar about it by mainly small business owners along with concerned citizens who wanted the small business owners to play on a level playing field (or at least as level as possible). This was in the local paper, a Philly paper, Harrisburg paper and a few others I saw (online) but I don't remember hearing much about it on TV news or radio (probably didn't watch a lot then though).

So for those who think this isn't a big deal, when a company is operating on a 1-4% profit margin, this is a MASSIVE kick in the balls for companies who don't get to reap these benefits. This would mean they could essentially sell items at a loss (up to 3% loss) and still make their 4% profit, so there would be no way for the small businesses to compete. That doesn't even begin to talk about the issue of the state deficit and what that sales tax could have been used for within the gov (services for poor, infrastructure, etc) - we can only hope it would have been well spent.

Now I'm wondering if any of you have heard similar stories in your area or state where companies are allowed to keep the sales tax.

I'm really worried that this may be applied to companies like Amazon, which may be why they haven't fought the sales tax issue very much and could be a reason why the pick where they do for their new corporate office (maybe a benefit is keeping sales tax within that state??) This would hurt small businesses even more than Amazon already does.

Can anyone clarify what is going on with this situation, if it was mis-reported or was incorrectly reported (or understood)? I remember wondering if this might have been for a limited time, but I clearly recall for at least on store, it didn't have an expiration on retainment.

So, anyone have any insight on this issue?




posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 05:55 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

That is up to the State or local government.
Incentives to attract and keep businesses in the area has been a thing since ,,,,well since.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 06:02 PM
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originally posted by: Gothmog
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

That is up to the State or local government.
Incentives to attract and keep businesses in the area has been a thing since ,,,,well since.

Thanks.
So I'm not completely out of line for thinking I read this type of thing and there's a possibility that this happened/is happening?

The thing is I looked for this online about 3-4 years ago when I was looking into the topic and it was almost impossible to find any reference to the tax discussion of these locations, and NONE that mentioned keeping sales tax. The paper did have about 12 missing articles of the time frame related to the company though (IDK why they purge some of their articles! seems shady, especially when there were 100's to 1000's of comments on the article- they did the same with some articles on controversial political appointees...)

I wonder if there is a place within the state gov or local where we can find this information?



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 06:08 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

In FLorida in all these indian owned gas stations they all charge sales tax on ANYthing you can eat or drink, when it only should apply in snacks that have sugar added to them. So M&M's yes, unsweetened chocolate no, kind of thing. But they'll charge it on even milk. I've gotten into huge fights with them on so many occasions over it, one time I even printed out the law and "served" it to the prick attendant, held my phone at him as if I recorded it taking place so he wouldnt be able to keep shrugging it off (he called for it that guy lol). I was convinced after how hard I pushed that time that there's some serious scam going on. He actually refused to print the receipt so I could see how it added up, as it screamed shady how the total came out. So I surmised he tried bundling the extra charge into however it is they run the sales tax scheme thru the computerized registers, and be able to get away with it. Which I'm convinced there is a scam in play how hardliner they all are about HAVING to charge it, and becoming hostile, all of them, if you even try to mention it.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 06:14 PM
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I doubt that they are allowed to outright keep the sales taxes as collected and especially not report it as it would not be legal.

However, most municipalities most certainly provide the ever popular tax credits to larger corporations as incentives to come into town.

I would think that certain requirements are tied to the incentives that must be met, at least that would be smart but who knows.

Also remember that small businesses are entitled to many benefits from local state and the federal level that bigger corporation do not have access to. Not always widely advertised but loans, training, and in some cases free space are available in some locales.

It's not an even playing field what so ever as retailers like Wal-Mart can play hardball with suppliers and get lower prices on goods before they even reach the shelf because of the larger amounts they purchase as opposed to a traditional mom and pop.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 06:19 PM
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originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

In FLorida in all these indian owned gas stations they all charge sales tax on ANYthing you can eat or drink, when it only should apply in snacks that have sugar added to them. So M&M's yes, unsweetened chocolate no, kind of thing. But they'll charge it on even milk. I've gotten into huge fights with them on so many occasions over it, one time I even printed out the law and "served" it to the prick attendant, held my phone at him as if I recorded it taking place so he wouldnt be able to keep shrugging it off (he called for it that guy lol). I was convinced after how hard I pushed that time that there's some serious scam going on. He actually refused to print the receipt so I could see how it added up, as it screamed shady how the total came out. So I surmised he tried bundling the extra charge into however it is they run the sales tax scheme thru the computerized registers, and be able to get away with it. Which I'm convinced there is a scam in play how hardliner they all are about HAVING to charge it, and becoming hostile, all of them, if you even try to mention it.


I agree with you 100% with a few of these Indian owned places. They all seem to do shady stuff and when I ask for receipt its always "broken" (even though I hear it printing - but it goes to a spool. I got taxed on milk and he said "it convenience" and said I didn't think that was right, same with eggs.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 06:19 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I got my gas bill for my workshop.
Natural gas not a propane tank.
Zero gas usage.
$11 delivery charge!
And to add a slap to the face a 7% sales tax on the delivery charge...

I dont know of any business that keeps sales tax.
Some get breaks on property taxes during expansions but that's it.

And sales tax should be charged for online sales.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 06:20 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I know in our city, some companies got property tax relief for several years to move into industrial parks and take over vacant/for sale buildings.
I don't think that is at all uncommon.



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 06:22 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

In FLorida its only supposed to be sugar. Chips? NO (unless they're coated with sugar lol).



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 06:53 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

always believed all "taxes" on products were governmental...State and Federal



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 07:31 PM
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a reply to: mysterioustranger

They are government taxes. What is pointed out is that many products, especially food items and dependent on location are not subject to sales tax.

Many stores, especially smaller stores are charging tax on items not taxable. Smaller businesses find it inconvenient to program register with a no sales tax button or like to collect the tax anyway.

I suppose training staff to know which products are taxed and which are not is prohibitive as well.

If you add up all those pennies, it is an incredible tax free windfall for a business every year. They don't report collecting the tax because they are not suppose too, and they do not report it as revenue because they never charged it, windfall



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 10:51 PM
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a reply to: DJMSN

*edit- whoops kinda mis-read your post/stance. - Also, even with 30 year old registers it is very simple to program items that are not taxable, even if they don't use bar codes (like the sticker price tags). If they do it so they charge tax, you can guarantee it is done on purpose and any excuse is total BS and any explanation of "not knowing" is total BS. These store owners often work as families (owning many stores) or even many families from the same village buying stores close to each other - they show each other the tricks and they all do the same thing. It is purposeful and exploitative of those who they think are lesser than they.

Yeah but when you buy a loaf of bread, gallon of milk and a dozen eggs for almost $10 (convience store price) and sales tax is 6-9% then that is $.60-90 cents. That might not sound like much but if you buy that every 4-5 days, then over a month that is an extra $4.20-6.30 per month or $50.50 - $75.60 per year in illegal taxes. That might not sound like much but to some people, that is 1/2 to 1 months worth of food, or 2-3 tanks of gas (more in some cars).

Now if they do that to 20 people per month, then that is $1000 - $1500 in illegal taxes extracted from the local (often poor) community (or theft from EBT/gov aid) which they will most likely keep because of the way they ring things up.

If they got busted for this there would be MAJOR fines, many times more than what they collected and even a possible law suit from those they stole from.

The thing is that there is a trends among certain types of stores (mainly owners) who are not really community oriented - they have a shop in the community but not a part of the community and they seem to take pride in doing these things. When they are called out on things like this there is often violent responses from them or complete refusal to serve - when in a city where there are limited options for food, charging tax on non-taxables is very low and basically abusive fraud. They think their customers are too dumb to figure this out.

I had one indian clerk try to charge me $2.99 for a pack of rolling papers, even though it had a manufactures stamp on it of "2/99" and on the plastic bucket bin (provided by manufacturer) it said 2/99 cents - then an actual price tag of 2 for $.99 of $.69 each. They tried to tell me 2/99 meant $2.99 even though every other store sold them 2 for 99 cents or 69 cents each. She got in an argument with me and told me to leave (after being a GOOD patron for 5+ years!!!)

There are reasons for stereotypes because they are often true, but as with all things, there are always those that don't follow them as well.
edit on 7 23 2018 by DigginFoTroof because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 23 2018 @ 11:00 PM
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originally posted by: DJMSN

Many stores, especially smaller stores are charging tax on items not taxable. Smaller businesses find it inconvenient to program register with a no sales tax button or like to collect the tax anyway.


Wouldnt be just as easy to set an item to NONTAX as it would TAXABLE?

How much special training are we talking about here? Sugar = TAX and no sugar = NONTAX.

The cashiers at the little non big box grocery by me they hit TAX/NONTAX for every item they ring up. No barcodes. On the fly. All day. Every day. Same as at the bodegas (everywhere).

A lot of the convenience stores have "GROCERY" right up on the sign / banner / wall. FFS.
edit on 23-7-2018 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 03:00 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof
Probably from like a tax commission office ?



posted on Jul, 24 2018 @ 10:06 AM
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a reply to: IgnoranceIsntBlisss

I am not defending the practice. The tax system depending where you are can be very difficult to navigate, not only consumers but vendors as well.

Take my home state of Louisiana as an example. The state had a 4% tax and most cities tax at 5 % which is a total of 9%. At one time, 196 different products were considered exempt from the state sales tax but not the city tax of 5%.

Interesting enough, those numbers along with other factors put the state dead last for a problematic system. Recent changes have made it even worse leading some representatives to joke, and say the state is now ranked number 80. There are not that many states of course.

The state as usual is need of more money so they raised the sales tax by a penny but provided a myriad of products exempt the new tax, some products exempt for 2 years from 2 cents of the tax and other products exempt from any tax for 4 years.

They still have a product list that exempts some items from both local and state taxes but just because they are on that list does not mean they are not on the 2 year and 2 cent list or the 4 year list or the full list. Confused yet ? Welcome to Louisiana.

The bottom line on this is there are now over 160 items considered exempt, from part or all of the taxes, 60 different tax rates depending on your location in the state and of course the various time lines, either 2 or 4 year exemption or no exemptions.

And for the record, Louisiana ranks 50 which is dead last but there are others competing for that title so maybe we will move up the list but I doubt it.

The matrix list governing the sales tax rules is 26 pages long and they are still writing, so maybe if every store hires an accountant at the register they may be able to determine which products are taxable and which ones are not, but it would change before they gave you the receipt any way.

It may not be as complicated in other states but I bet it is. They just can't make it a simple process as they are crooked criminals, and in some cases this includes the stores


www.google.com...
ed it on 7/24/2018 by DJMSN because: Addition




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