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Thread: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

  1. #241
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    Internet retailers still have a couple of SCOTUS opinons that back their position,
    No, they really don't. States need to demonstrate that customers in the state have direct links to the state in order for the state to have jurisdiction on the matter.

    but it's clear that Amazon.com decided to stop bleeding money fighting states where it planned to locate facilities.
    There are no facilities being built for Amazon in NC. It lost the fight and has to collect sales taxes. Deal with it.

    Where is does not, it's still refusing to remit the taxes. At last count, Amazon still did not collect taxes for 21 states, notwithstanding their strong desire to get their grippers on the money.
    Yes, because the majority of states in this country are run by hillbillies who don't really understand that ordering from internet is no different than ordering from a catalogue. However, as you can clearly see, that's changing and it's not looking good for online retailers.

    And for the record, Overstock.com is still thumbing its nose at New York even though it "lost" by having SCOTUS not take up its appeal against the state.
    Yes, that's great for Overstock, however Overstock is nothing like MonkeyParking. It isn't entirely dependent on the city to do its business. MonkeyParking is entirely dependent on city infrastructure to generate money.

    It effectively trumped New York's law by severing its relationships with affiliates located within the state.
    That's great, now it has lost business 2 places, it has to pay more for affiliates outside of NY to send the products and it has lost the ability to create affiliates in the state of NY. All so it could avoid taxes. Talk about a terrible business plan.

    So your claim that New York left Amazon with no options is nonsense.
    Reading is your friend, California was about to pass a law which would have made the affiliates issue irrelevant. California left Amazon without a choice. The same kind of law passed in North Carolina where Amazon has no affiliates in still collects sales taxes.

    It could have done what Overstock did and severed its relationships with its New York affiliates, thereby circumventing the state's law.
    Do you not understand how this loses business on two fronts?

    The first - no local affiliates? It costs more to ship products.
    The second - no local affiliates? No profit to be made from them.

    ------------

    You don't know anything about this type of business. Goodnight.
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  2. #242
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    There are no facilities being built for Amazon in NC. It lost the fight and has to collect sales taxes. Deal with it.
    Once again, you're choking on your Cheerios here:

    Why doesn't the out-of-state retailer collect the tax?

    If the retailer is located out-of-state and is not engaged in business in the state, the state cannot require the retailer to collect North Carolina's tax. However, some out-of-state retailers voluntarily collect the North Carolina tax as a convenience to their customers.

    North Carolina Department of Revenue - Frequently Asked Questions - Use Tax
    Amazon.com chose to collect the tax because...

    ... (t)he company says it will be making an unspecified investment in North Carolina.

    Amazon.com's decision to collect NC sales taxes could mean $20M to $30M for state | Under the Dome Blog | NewsObserver.com
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    Once again, you're choking on your Cheerios here:
    You're so laughably uninformed in this matter it's almost sad. Let me explain this to you again. First of all, Amazon has NO physical presence in NC. It doesn't have reps, it doesn't have centers. As a matter of fact, it went as far as to terminate its affiliate program. Why? Because even without a physical presence in the state (well, whatever you think physical presence means), that was enough legal ground according to NC state law for it to collect sales tax.

    Amazon Pulls the Plug on NC Associates while Google and Apple Enjoy Sweet State Tax Deals - SEW

    This morning, Amazon Associates in North Carolina are awakening to some bitter news. As of today, their accounts are officially closed. This is anticipation - yes, anticipation, not the actual passage - of a state budget that includes a provision requiring companies with affiliate programs to pay an internet sales tax.

    Just a week ago, Amazon sent a warning to NC affiliates that the accounts would be closed if the bill was passed.

    The reasoning behind the provision is that affiliates are considered employees and therefore establish a physical presence in NC, which puts them in the "pay an internet sales tax" column.
    Are you reading that? Without a physical presence from its own employees in the state, Amazon was still forced to collect a sales tax because it fulfilled this part of NC law:

    engaged in business in the state,
    Now, even though Amazon pulled out of NC and supposedly (according to you really) isn't required to pay sales tax. It still collects for the state of NC. Why is it collecting for a state it doesn't have to collect for?

    Amazon.com Help: About Sales Tax on Items Sold by Amazon.com

    Why? Here is why:

    Amazon customer privacy rights upheld, but battle likely to continue | TechJournal

    The other option is the state auditing Amazon and the state pursuing Amazon for the fact that in accordance to NC law it owes sales taxes! This is not out of the goodness of Amazon's heart. It is out NCs established established legal framework and the very real consequences Amazon faces for non compliance: audits, lawsuits etc.

    Amazon.com chose to collect the tax because...
    You're not reading this stuff are you? I stated there are no facilities being built in North Carolina. Your article is from January, it's now July. List of locations/affiliates in NC:

    Amazon in North America

    United States
    Corporate Headquarters:
    Seattle, WA

    Other Locations:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Las Vegas, NV
    New York, NY
    Herndon, VA

    Fulfillment Centers:
    Arizona
    California
    Delaware
    Indiana
    Kansas
    Kentucky
    Nevada
    New Hampshire
    Pennsylvania
    South Carolina
    Tennessee
    Texas
    Virginia
    Washington

    Customer Service Centers:
    North Dakota
    Washington
    West Virginia
    United States Subsidiaries
    A2Z Development Centers
    Charleston, SC
    Cupertino,CA (dba:Lab126)
    Irvine, CA
    Lake Forest, CA
    San Francisco, CA
    San Luis Obispo, CA

    A9:
    Palo Alto, CA
    Alexa:
    San Francisco, CA

    Audible:
    Newark, NJ

    Brilliance Audio:
    Grand Haven, MI
    CreateSpace:
    Charleston, SC
    Fabric.com:
    Kennesaw, GA

    IMDb:
    Seattle, WA
    Studio City, CA
    Quidsi:
    Jersey City, NJ

    shopbop:
    Madison, WI
    New York, NY

    Woot!:
    Carrollton, TX
    Zappos.com:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Shepherdsville, KY
    However, how does all of this apply to MonkeyParking? Well it's simple really. MonkeyApp turns tens of thousands into employees. It doesn't generate money without their transactions and sales. That (and the fact that it is dependent on public property) is what allows SF/California to have jurisdiction over the matter.
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    You're so laughably uninformed in this matter it's almost sad. Let me explain this to you again. First of all, Amazon has NO physical presence in NC. It doesn't have reps, it doesn't have centers. As a matter of fact, it went as far as to terminate its affiliate program. Why? Because even without a physical presence in the state (well, whatever you think physical presence means), that was enough legal ground according to NC state law for it to collect sales tax.
    You chide me for quoting a source that's seven months old but then go on to quote a source that's more than five years old and I'm the one who's uninformed? And even then you give me more ammo:

    The reasoning behind the provision is that affiliates are considered employees and therefore establish a physical presence in NC, which puts them in the "pay an internet sales tax" column.
    Did you read that part?

    You know, this is truly amazing. Presumably, the people who collect the tax keep up with current events. Even when you've clearly been caught with your pants down when I quote from the taxing authority's website that North Carolina can not force companies that do not have a presence in the state to collect the taxes you insist that it can. Truly amazing. The manly thing to do would be to just nad up and admit that you've been bitchslapped on this point: States can not always force compliance with their laws.
    Last edited by Ahlevah; 07-09-14 at 12:51 PM.
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Now, even though Amazon pulled out of NC and supposedly (according to you really) isn't required to pay sales tax. It still collects for the state of NC. Why is it collecting for a state it doesn't have to collect for?
    Unlike you, I'm not going give a definitive reason as to why Amazon.com chose to begin collecting the tax. I know the company supports a national law that would require online retailers to collect and remit sales taxes, and I suspect that this has to do with the company's long-term aim to reduce delivery times buy having fulfillment centers closer to its customers. It then makes sense to put in motion a process to collect the taxes. But that's speculation. The simple fact is that no state can currently require an online retailer to collect and remit sales taxes if the merchant does not have a physical presence or affiliates/agents located within the state.
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    The example was used to illustrate the point that the "Monkey" is not "selling" the parking spot; the Monkey is selling information concerning the availability of the spot just as the person seeking the finder's fee is not selling the lamp.
    Your analogy doesn't apply precisely because the person receiving the finder's fee isn't blocking access for other people who might want to buy the lamp; it's completely apples to oranges. If the sellers were only selling information, then they couldn't deny access to the space for other people.
    As to your other point, the analogy does not hold because, while I'm not within my rights to prevent another person from purchasing the lamp, I am within my rights to vacate the parking space when I choose to vacate it as no one's claim on it has any more priority than mine.
    Then that's the de facto sale of that parking spot. You may be within your rights to occupy the space, but since it's public and isn't yours, you can't use it (and thereby deny others the right to access it) for profit.

    Tell me: is there any meaningful difference between me setting up a lawn chair on a parking spot and using the app to sell access to the space, and me parking there in my car and using the app to sell access to the space?
    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by MadLib View Post
    Tell me: is there any meaningful difference between me setting up a lawn chair on a parking spot and using the app to sell access to the space, and me parking there in my car and using the app to sell access to the space?
    Yes, there is: I'm located physically in the city; I'm not using the spot for its intended purpose (parking a vehicle); and this sort of activity can be readily enforced. Also, I could not make a market in selling knowledge of the availability of the space because anyone could see that it's available. And as I've said repeatedly in this thread, no legal condition is placed on when I have to move my vehicle. If the window is "No parking between the hours of 2 AM to 6A M, Monday to Thursday" and I choose to vacate the spot of 5:30 PM on any weekday I am well within my rights to do that. Finally, if I put up a chair and prevent others from parking, there is no doubt that I intend to enforce a claim I have no rights to; parking spots are not meant for parking chairs. However, if I'm in a vehicle, I have a legal right to vacate it when I choose to vacate it.
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahlevah View Post
    I'm not using the spot for its intended purpose (parking a vehicle)
    The intended purpose of a parking spot is not for a someone to park there so that he or she can sell use rights to someone else; it's so that people can park there and engage in other nearby activities on foot.
    Also, I could not make a market in selling knowledge of the availability of the space because anyone could see that it's available.
    First of all, it's not available if it's being occupied by a person sitting in a chair. Second, the person looking to buy the spot might not necessarily be within viewing distance of the space.
    Finally, if I put up a chair and prevent others from parking, there is no doubt that I intend to enforce a claim I have no rights to; parking spots are not meant for parking chairs. However, if I'm in a vehicle, I have a legal right to vacate it when I choose to vacate it.
    So they're different? Seriously, they're the same thing. The only difference is what the lazy leech upon society decided to sit on. People have no right to make a scarce good even more scarce by forcing other people to pay for it.

    By the way, if you're going to continue to claim that this is just selling information, can you explain what selling access to the spot would be (in contrast to merely selling information)?
    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by Napoleon View Post
    If selling access to part of a public street is an illegal transaction then I want to know when the parking meters will be removed and public parking permit requirements will be repealed.
    Um...that's the city government - the same group that owns and maintains the parking spot - selling access to it. It's illegal for someone who doesn't own a service to sell access to it. The person or group that does own it is free to do whatever he/she/it wants with that service.
    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
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    Re: S.F. threatens parking app 'MonkeyParking' with lawsuit

    Quote Originally Posted by MadLib View Post
    The intended purpose of a parking spot is not for a someone to park there so that he or she can sell use rights to someone else; it's so that people can park there and engage in other nearby activities on foot.
    Yeah, that's true, but the city is making an assumption that everyone who's vacating a spot and letting other people know about it for money isn't using the space legitimately. As I've said, the only way I see for the city to stop people from holding spots is for it to prevent any organized communication by silencing services such as MonkeyParking. I just don't see that it has that authority in this instance because this is a foreign entity with no physical presence in the city. Even if I accept your proposition that this activity is illegal, I don't see any way to stop it, just as I see no way to stop piracy of intellectual property. In many ways, the Internet is fundamentally changing the way people interact and do business in the world. Businesses and governments will either learn to adapt or perish. It's as simple as that.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadLib View Post
    So they're different? Seriously, they're the same thing. The only difference is what the lazy leech upon society decided to sit on. People have no right to make a scarce good even more scarce by forcing other people to pay for it.
    I don't take it as a given that this service will make parking spaces more scarce. The number of people looking for a parking space at any given time is a zero-sum game. But if the purpose of the service is to reduce wait times by alerting others to the availability of parking spaces then it stands to reason that waiting times, certainly for people who use the service, should drop. And if people are given a financial incentive to vacate spaces then it also stands to reason that more spaces should be available. And, as Darwinian as it sounds, if the price of on-street parking goes up, some people might have to take the bus. Supposedly people spend about 27-minutes on average looking for a spot in the Mission District. In order to bring wait times down, you have three choices: increase supply, reduce demand, or both.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadLib View Post
    By the way, if you're going to continue to claim that this is just selling information, can you explain what selling access to the spot would be (in contrast to merely selling information)?
    Selling access would be telling other people that they were not entitled to it, that I'd "sold" it to someone else. If they're not aware that I'm leaving, then they have no more claim on it than the user of the MonkeyService. He's only doing what anyone else is entitled to do: park his car. His only advantage should be that he's aware that I'm leaving before anyone else becomes aware of that fact.
    Last edited by Ahlevah; 07-09-14 at 10:39 PM.
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