It's a Taxing Business
This week, an AP article posted on Newsday.com outlined 10 reasons New Jersey residents should pay attention to Governor Jon Corzine's new state budget. New Jersey is just one of many states looking to apply sales tax to a selection of previously tax-free services, such as health-club memberships, shipping and handling, golf and—you guessed it—self-storage. In a state where sales tax is about to jump to 7 percent, that increase could kill whatever rental adjustments storage operators may have been contemplating for the near future.
New Jersey's not the only state attempting to tax storage. Connecticut has also tacked on a 6% tax, and there are others. I'd like to hear from operators dealing with this issue. How is the application of sales tax affecting your business? Has it thwarted your ability to control rental rates? How have your customers and competitors responded? Has discounting become necessary to counteract the increase?
Misused or Abused?
Over the past four months, I've been keeping an eye out to see who's blogging about self-storage and what they have to say. For the most part, the references are inconsequential; but every now and then something jumps out at me. Recently, a blog entry at Consumerist.com talked about an online vendor called Soho Store that is offering "obscene discounts" on iPods. They questioned the validity of the enterprise in part because the store's address was traced back to a storage facility in San Pedro, Calif. Even after a discussion with the site's owner, the Consumerist suggested the business might be a cover for scam to nab bank-account info.
Anyway, it makes no difference to me whether the Soho Store is a fraud or not. What's irksome is the blogger assumed the deal was shady simply because 1) it seemed too good to be true; and 2) the business address is a storage facility. These days, it's not unusual for entrpreneurs to run their business out of a storage unit—that doesn't make them criminals.
BTW, Consumerist, "scritor emptor" or no, I think even your "stupid readers" can read between the lines.
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- Amsdell Cos./Compass Self Storage Buys Facility in Cincinnati