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Chatt Tech Council

2003-03-28 14:32:31.052004+00 by meuon 7 comments

Hyping DotBombSquad which now publically ridicules the Chattanooga Technology Council website.. hosted in Canada.. with a very broken website. It's bad enough they can't keep the website up..but at least it should be hosted in Chattanooga. They don't even support the local technology industry in this simple way. - They want all of you wonderful technology companies to consider relocating to Chattanooga: which has an amazing quality of life in many ways, good cost of living, lots of recreational outdoor activities, some neat people.. and a Government and 'powers that be' that just don't undertstand the basics of technology, yet they want it for your above median incomes and the Tennessee tax laws that make 'work for hire' subject to sales tax, as well as internet access, web design, software development, consulting (in technology, not law or other areas). Comments?

[ related topics: Politics Coyote Grits Software Engineering moron Work, productivity and environment Chattanooga Net Culture Graphic Design ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2003-03-28 15:09:03.781239+00 by: petronius

Local authorities often overreach themselves. Some years ago a particularly wacky mayor of Chicago instituted an "everything" tax. It was to include professional services, which were found to everyone's surprise also meant visits to the doctor or dentist, or even a trip to the ER. It also included a sort of use tax, which applied to Chicago residents buying products outside the jurisdiction. Supposedly, if I bought a washing machine in a suburb I still owed the Mayor her tax. The city sent tax submission forms to a variety of suburban merchants, demanding they collect the tax for the city. They politely told her to go fuck herself. The tax was eventually declared unconstitutional.

Part of this is the law of unintended consequences. I think the city figured to get some money from untaxed transactions like commodity sales on the Board of Trade, or the actions of the 2 Big Eight accounting firms then HQ'd in town. It never occurred to them that welfare clinics and no-wait denture palaces would also be caught in the net. They have tried to make their laws a tad more user-friendly to single practictioner consultancies, but in general such outfits don't bother to take out a business license and the city doesn't bother to hunt them down. They are far more busy hunting illegal video game rooms, which are considered to be a prima face public nusiance from the get-go.

#Comment made: 2003-03-28 16:19:31.268912+00 by: Dan Lyke

Snicker. It's all about helping businesses connect, for $5k/year. I'm not sure how that corresponds to membership in the chamber of commerce, but... And their affiliate is the UTC "SimCenter", so far as I can tell devoted to sucking down government grant money, because there are no other companies in the area that need that particular sort of simulation. Yeah, that'll do great things for building local businesses. Teach those kids that to get jobs after school they'll have to move to Huntsville.

The problem in Chattanooga is that everyone is so desperate to squeeze out a buck that few people are willing to take a slightly longer view. It's all about "start a local non-profit dedicated to helping Chattanooga technology, squeeze a few bucks out of TVA, the Lupton project of the moment, and whoever currently owns what used to be the Provident buildings" without looking around to seeing what could be nurtured.

#Comment made: 2003-03-29 00:22:59.37968+00 by: Dan Lyke

I also couldn't help but notice that their featured technology company is "eSpin", whose website is at http://www.nanospin.com/, a juxtaposition which makes me wonder just a bit, and is another one of those "100 Cherokee Blvd" companies...

Has that incubator ever created a company that went anywhere?

#Comment made: 2003-03-29 02:23:15.570987+00 by: Larry Burton

This company may just go somewhere. I talked with them about some work a couple of weeks ago and it appears they are about to break out of the incubator and build a plant. I was also impressed with the background the CEO has. He actually knows how to put a manufacturing facility together.

#Comment made: 2003-03-29 03:59:40.883208+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Jay and E-Spin are probably the most innovative thing in town, 100 Cherokee Blvd or not. He's actually got something new and knows how to make it. He's also naturally pro-Chattanooga and anti-Chattanooga for many of the same reasons I am.

Ok. That's 1 "amazing", a handful of "good" and xxxx "mediocre and bad".

A client of ours is in the process of moving out of 100 Cherokee, had new cards, brochures and such printed with their new address and noticed an instant change in how other local businesses deal with them as peers and not as some wannabe. Incubators have their role, but they can also hurt as well as help a business.

#Comment made: 2003-03-29 17:27:25.512494+00 by: Shawn

also included a sort of use tax, which applied to Chicago residents buying products outside the jurisdiction

This is pretty normal behavior for Use taxes. A little known fact (here in Washington) is that you're supposed to pay Use Tax to the state if you buy things out of state - such as mail order. But the State doesn't enforce it because it'd be almost impossible to do so. At the very least, the cost of chasing down everybody would (probably) negate the benefits.

The concept of avoiding tax by purchasing out of state is a theoretical myth.

#Comment made: 2003-03-30 15:52:31.414502+00 by: meuon

When audited by the TDR (Tennessee Department of Revenue) they were meticulous in pointing that out.. They were keen on hardware bought from out of state, for resale or not.