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Startup Flees To Seattle Amid Amazon's Tax Fight 235

Posted by timothy
from the game-theory-of-taxes dept.
An anonymous reader writes "SF-based comparison shopping startup Shopobot was caught in the fight between Amazon, big-box retailers, and politicians over collecting of sales tax for online purchases. So what did the entreprenurs do? Flee to Seattle, right next to Amazon HQ, where marketing affiliates have a chance — because Amazon already collects sales tax in WA." And if you must flee, Seattle's a nice destination.
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Startup Flees To Seattle Amid Amazon's Tax Fight

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  • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Friday September 16, 2011 @08:01PM (#37425700) Homepage

    No, no!!! Not Portland! It's always rainy here and there are all of those smelly hippies and hipsters and... well, you saw Portlandia, didn't you? It's just like that. And there are cougars (the feline kind) roaming in the streets (no more cars to run them over now that we have so many bicycles) so you're not safe at all. Stay down there in beatuiful, sunny California. I'd be down there with you, instead of this hell hole, but we don't make enough money up here for us to move there.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Friday September 16, 2011 @08:24PM (#37425836) Homepage Journal

    Look, it's really simple.

    Taxing Amazon is unconstitutional on its face, and there is a supreme court decision which is on point that clarifies the issue.

    Part of having integrity is supporting what's right even when it's not in your best interest. Yes, California is hurting, we get that. Yes, you need more money, we get that. No, it's not right, deal with it, and no, it's still not right even if you really, *really* need the money.

    A better question is whether California really needs the money. Comparing CA with NH:

    The CA budget is 9x the NH budget

    CA has 28x the population to tax (income taxes)
    CA residents have higher income on average than NH residents (income taxes)
    CA has 17x the land area to tax (property taxes)
    CA has much greater tourist draw than NH (meals and room taxes)
    CA has a vast agricultural and industrial base (NAPA valley, Silicon valley) (business taxes)
    CA has an enormous coastline which attracts international trade and recreation

    NH has... hiking.

    If you can't get 9x the revenue from 28x the population, you're doing it wrong.

    Here's a thought: How about California just ditch all government infrastructure and duplicate the one in NH, expanded per capita. You would have no income tax, no sales tax, and an operating budget 3x higher.

    Source:

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2320930&cid=36754362 [slashdot.org]

    California

    Population: 37M
    Population Density: 234/sq mi
    Area: 163,696 sq mi (770 miles from top to bottom)
    2010-2011 Budget: 102 Billion
    Budget per capita: $2756

    NH

    Population: 1.3M
    Population Density: 146/sq mi
    Area: 9,304 sq mi ( 190 miles from top to bottom)
    2010-2011 Budget: $11.5 billion
    Budget per capita: $8846

  • by mc6809e (214243) on Friday September 16, 2011 @09:08PM (#37426118)

    Look, California is one of the largest economies in the world for a reason. (Actually, a lot of reasons.)

    If you don't want to give back to the state that you do business in, bye bye. You won't be missed. Have fun learning the hard way why nobody else is running a software company in South Carolina or whatever.

    Ugly sentiment and dangerous.

    At some point you'll wake up and realize that the state needs them more than they need the state. And California is not East Germany. You won't be able to build a wall to keep them in so they can be forced to "give back to the state". They'll leave and they'll be missed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2011 @09:34PM (#37426258)

    Oh, I may be a little slow but from your numbers it looks like the CA government is 3x more efficient than NH. Why on earth will Californians want to spend 3 times more to service the same population???

  • by Denmc (2463338) on Friday September 16, 2011 @09:59PM (#37426358)
    As a native Californian, this "don't let the door hit your ass on the way out" attitude concerns me. Our state has an unemployment rate of 12.1%. Only Nevada is higher at 12.9%. Our state has a serious jobs problem and continuing to encourage businesses to leave will not improve the welfare of our citizens.
  • by drnb (2434720) on Friday September 16, 2011 @10:11PM (#37426404)

    Look, California is one of the largest economies in the world for a reason.

    Yes, the policies we had decades ago. Be careful, you are looking backwards, and the GP is looking forwards.

    If you don't want to give back to the state that you do business in, bye bye. You won't be missed.

    Yes, but up to a point. Both you and the GP may be a little overdramatic but the GP does have a point. For example how much of the economic success you refer to is from the aerospace industry? Bad news on that front:
    http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/examiner-opinion-zone/aerospace-exodus-california [washingtonexaminer.com]

    And what of the emerging private space industry that has its roots in Mohave? More bad new:
    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/apr/14/competitors-are-wooing-california-space-industry/ [signonsandiego.com]

    On a personal note I know some guys who used to shape surf boards. Very small scale shop but respected by locals and profitable for years. They had to give it up due to ever increasing regulations.

    Have fun learning the hard way why nobody else is running a software company in South Carolina or whatever.

    I don't think US customers know or care where a software company is located, except possibly that it is a US operation. And with the increasing popularity of the digital supply chain -- developer to online store to consumer, no packaged goods or distributors -- this is becoming even more so.


    You have to admit the California legislature is out of control and making California a less friendly place to do business than a few decades ago.

I'd rather just believe that it's done by little elves running around.

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