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Sorry, New Jerseyans

Saturday's a big day for New Jersey businesses. Whether they like it or not, July 15th marks the start date of a statewide sales-tax increase from 6 percent to 7 percent. And that's not all. Storage operators get theirs on October 1, when the new tax will be levied on a whole host of previously exempt services, including self-storage.

How will this affect rentals for facilities in the state? I'd like to hear feedback from some local ops. What are your plans to offset the impact of sales tax on customers' buying practices?

On a more positive note, President Bush recently issued an executive order regarding eminent domain, preventing federal agencies from seizing private property except in situations involving public projects such as hospitals or roads. The decision was handed down on the one-year anniversary of the controversial Kelo vs. City of New London case in which local governments were given the power to overthrow homes and businesses for other commercial development.

Storage operators have been following the progress of a current case involving a storage facility in Arcadia, Calif. The city wants to allow a Mercedes dealership to expand by snatching adjacent properties, including Arcadia Self Storage. Bush's order is unlikely to have any bearing on cases such as these, though I suppose it's a good sign the federal government has gone on record as opposing eminent domain for mere economic purposes. We'll see how things pan out.


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