July 30, 2018
Register now for MnRA's new Retail+Policy Legislator Meet & Greet Dinner August 30 at the Mall of America.
Department of Revenue: Minnesota To Begin Remote Seller & Marketplace Sales Tax Collection October 1
From the Minnesota Department of Revenue, July 25, 2018

The Minnesota Department of Revenue will require remote sellers and Marketplace Providers facilitating sales into Minnesota to begin collecting sales tax no later than October 1, 2018.

Minnesota law requires all sellers to collect sales or use tax to the extent allowed under the United States Constitution.

The June 21 U.S. Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair allows states like Minnesota to require remote sellers with no physical presence, such as online and mail-order companies, to collect and remit the applicable sales or use tax on sales delivered to locations within their state. The Court’s decision in Wayfair caused Minnesota’s existing law, which was enacted in 1989, to become effective.

Remote sellers that sell goods or services into Minnesota from other states must register and begin collecting and remitting Minnesota sales tax no later than October 1, 2018.

Minnesota has a Small Seller Exception, which does not require remote sellers to collect sales tax until their sales during a period of 12 consecutive months total either:

    • 100 or more retail sales shipped to Minnesota
    • 10 or more retail sales shipped to Minnesota that total more than $100,000

Minnesota law also requires certain Marketplace Providers to collect and remit Minnesota sales tax on all taxable retail sales made into Minnesota facilitated by the marketplace. Remote sellers do not need to collect sales tax when a Marketplace Provider is collecting and remitting.

The Court’s decision in Wayfair also caused Minnesota’s 2017 Marketplace Provider law to become effective.

Marketplace Providers must register and begin collecting Minnesota sales tax on behalf of remote sellers using their marketplace no later than October 1, 2018.
Editorial: Rochester City-Mandated Minimum Wage Isn't Realistic
From the Post Bulletin, July 24, 2018

At last Tuesday’s League of Women Voters candidate forum, co-sponsored by the Post Bulletin, the seven candidates for mayor were asked if they would support a “citywide livable wage, and if so, what amount do you envision?”

Their answers were revealing. The question goes to the heart of how the city can attract and keep a workforce large enough and with the talents to keep Destination Medical Center growth moving forward.

It’s at the heart of whether longtime residents and new arrivals can afford to live here, and it opens a window onto the candidates’ view of local government and the mayor’s job.

Here’s how the candidates answered, edited for conciseness, in the order they responded...
Last Chance To Join MnRA In D.C. September 5-6 For NRF's Retail Advocates Summit
The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) is leading a delegation of retailers to Washington, D.C. September 5-6 to attend the National Retail Federation's Retail Advocates Summit. The event includes visits with Minnesota's Senators and House of Representatives members.

MnRA has some limited scholarship funding available for smaller sized retailers. If you are interested in attending, contact Bruce Nustad at bruce@mnretail.org before Wednesday, July 30.
Report: Online Shopping Reaches 5.5% Of Total Grocery Sales
From the Progressive Grocer, July 29, 2018

Online spending has reached 5.5 percent of total grocery spending in the United States, with current shoppers at online grocers driving most of the growth by increasing order sizes. But a new report warns that even though supermarkets are in a “strong position” to serve this demand, Amazon is challenging by linking its grocery services to Prime discounts and investing in Whole Foods Market.

Grocery shoppers that use online services most actively increased their weekly online spending as a part of total weekly grocery spending from 28 percent in 2017 to 46 percent in 2018, according to the new study, published by Brick Meets Click and sponsored by Winooski, Vt.-based grocery ecommerce platform MyWebGrocer. Additionally, with the nearly 30 percent of U.S. households that already grocery shop online, average order size increased $62 in 2017 to $69 in 2018, while both penetration and order frequency remained relatively flat. This suggests that current users will drive near-term growth.

In fact, those who shop online grocers most actively grew their weekly ecommerce spending as a percent of total weekly grocery spending from 28 percent in 2017 to 46 percent in 2018.
In St. Paul’s $15 Wage Debate, Advocates And Critics Alike Cite Studies, But What Do They Say?
It’s a frequent refrain among advocates and opponents of a $15 minimum wage: Just look at the studies.

As St. Paul officials consider whether to increase the citywide minimum wage and how quickly, interested observers on all sides of the debate are pointing to the experience of other cities as evidence of positive or negative outcomes.

One problem with looking at studies of a $15 minimum wage: None exist.

Sure, there’s plenty of conjecture based on preliminary data, including rival studies that have come to largely contradictory conclusions on the Seattle experience to date.

But no city other than San Francisco, which reached $15 on July 1, has rolled out a $15 minimum wage, at least not in full — not even Seattle, which inspired “Fight for $15” efforts coast to coast when it passed new wage laws in June 2014. Citywide, employers there won’t be required to pay $15 per hour until the year 2021.

In Minneapolis, where the first of seven annual wage hikes took effect this year, small employers won’t be forced to pay $15 per hour or more until 2024.

“It remains to be seen in Minneapolis what the impacts will be as we get closer and closer to the $15 figure,” said Courtney Blanchard, an attorney with Nilan Johnson Lewis who is working closely with Minneapolis employers on compliance. “The job market is a challenge, so to some extent, employers in some industries may already be raising wages to attract talent. I think we haven’t seen the effects yet.”
The U.S. Economy Continued Its Surge, Growing At A 4.1% Rate In The Last Quarter; Many Experts Expect A Slowdown Later In The Year
From the New York Times, Ben Casselman, July 27, 2018

Tax cuts and federal spending are adding fuel to the already strong economy, putting the United States on a pace for its best year of growth in well over a decade.

The Commerce Department reported Friday that gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy, grew at a 4.1 percent rate in the second quarter of the year. Consumers led the way, shrugging off higher gasoline prices and sluggish wage growth to step up their spending on everything from cars to clothes to restaurant meals.

President Trump hailed the data as evidence that his policies on trade, taxes and other issues were working. Robust growth is good news for Republicans, who are counting on the economy to help them in midterm elections this fall.

“Once again, we are the economic envy of the entire world,” Mr. Trump declared outside the South Portico of the White House, flanked by his top economic advisers.

Economists caution that the latest acceleration, while good news for American businesses and households in the short term, is unsustainable in the long term and could raise the risk that the recovery will flame out in the years ahead.