Monthly Archives: February 2011

Pressure builds to end Amazon’s tax-free sales

The pressure is building to end Amazon.com’s days as a tax-free retailer, according to Forbes.com.

I hope Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is paying attention. Amazon should not get away with an unfair tax break anymore.

Forbes specifically mentions Tennessee’s deal with Amazon:

In Tennessee, where state regulations explicitly require an in-state distribution center to collect tax on shipments to in-state customers the Department of Revenue has proposed changing the rule to exempt a distribution center if at least half of its sales come from shipments out of state. That has prompted howls of protest from both Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, a coalition of labor and church groups, and some local merchants.

Read the full Forbes story: Are Amazon.com’s Days Of Tax Free Selling Numbered?

Chamber exec in Japan on economic development mission

Knoxville Chamber executive Doug Lawyer is in Kitakyushu, Japan this week to market Innovation Valley and seek out business opportunities for Knoxville area companies.

under40_12220+014.jpgSo far, he’s been briefed on Kitakyushu’s solar R&D efforts and met with the city’s industrial development team.

Lawyer, the chamber’s vice president of economic development, is blogging about what he sees and hears.

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Brookings: Economy depends on fixing transportation system

Dodging potholes on the way to work this morning motivated me to read the recent Brookings Institution’s paper on fixing the national transportation system.Nation%27s+Bridges-One+Year+L.jpg

In a nutshell, the report released earlier this week says the transportation system is broken and current state and federal funding sources are woefully inadequate to fix the problem.

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Third judge rules against health reform challenge

For those of you keeping score, legal challenges to health care reform are now 3-2 in FAVOR of reform. A third judge this week tossed out a lawsuit challenging reform on constitutional grounds. Two judges previously ruled against it.

Despite what some on the radical  right would have you believe, rejection of the health care reform law is not a given.

Here are a couple of reports on the recent ruling. One from the left and one from the right.

New York Times: A Third Judge Validates Health Care Overhaul Law

Fox News: Judge Tosses Out Lawsuit Against Obama Health Care Law

Gender equity elusive in Tennessee boardrooms

A new study of women in corporate leadership in Tennessee shows that gender equity remains elusive in the board rooms of the state’s publicly traded companies.

regal_MP_13099.jpgAmong many interesting findings, the study, “Women in Corporate Leadership: 2010 Census,” found that in 2009 only 8.3 percent of director positions in Tennessee’s public companies are held by women. The state labor force is about 48 percent female.

However, a handful of East Tennessee companies offered bright spots for gender equity advocates, the study found.

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Working together to benefit taxpayers

In a rare display of cooperation and good sense, five small counties in northwest Tennessee and southwest Kentucky have formed an alliance to work on economic development.

The Ken-Tenn Regional Alliance, which represents Obion, Weakley and Lake counties in Tennessee and Fulton and Hickman counties in Kentucky, operates at the other end of the state, but East Tennessee economic develoment officials would do well to pay close attention to the group’s efforts.

Working across county and state lines presents certain political hurdles, but joint ventures can serve taxpayers well if local officials are sincere in their efforts to cooperate.

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Deadline looms for UT Business Plan Competition

The deadline for the fourth annual University of Tennessee Business Plan Competition is less than two weeks away.

UT undergraduate students with the next great business idea have until March 2 to file a concept summary to the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Business Administration.

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Free workshop on electric vehicles

solarcars1_asb_14383.jpgAre you considering buying an electric car? If so, you may want to drop by the Ted Russell Nissan dealership in West Knoxville on Saturday for a free workshop to learn the latest about electric vehicles.

The workshop starts at 9 a.m. and is hosted by the Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association. The dealership is at 8565 Kingston Pike

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Dear Governor, make Amazon pay sales taxes

An open letter to the governor:

Dear Gov. Haslam, As a consumer I appreciate not paying sales taxes on purchases made through Amazon.com. But as a Tennessee resident, I don’t appreciate it one bit.

Tennessee depends on sales tax revenue for schools, roads, law enforcement and all the other vital public services that state government provides.

Amazon shoppers, including myself, should pay their fair share. No more, no less.

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