Contributing Editors

Self Storage Industry Possibly Getting Targeted by State Governments

by John Stevens June 6, 2011 2:29 PM
One of the bad things about living through bad economic times is that it is not just businesses and consumers that are feeling the pinch. Governments are feeling the pinch as well. When you consider that they operate pretty much due to the taxes they collect, if people are not making much money and are spending even less than tax collections and essentially government operating budgets feel the crunch as well. [More]

Proposed Sales Tax Threatens Self Storage Industry in North Carolina

by John Stevens April 26, 2011 12:42 PM
Typically, self storage has avoided sales tax because it is taxed as real estate, not a service. But that standard is now being threatened in North Carolina as a potential tax on self storage has been introduced to the legislature. Dubbed the “21st Century Tax Modernization Plan,” Senate Bill 658 would impose a sales tax on self storage rentals in the state. [More]

Time for Self Storage Lobbying Efforts to Pay Off

by Tony Gonzalez February 18, 2011 10:46 AM
There is an old saying that parents like to use to motivate their kids into doing work for things that they want—if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. Basically, what it means is that if there is something that you want you can’t expect it to just come to you because you want it; you have to do something to go get it. This can also refer to making efforts to protect and enhance what is yours as well. [More]

New Act Could Cause Self Storage Industry Financial Woes

by John Stevens November 19, 2010 10:44 AM
President Obama has put forth much legislation in the hopes of helping small businesses grow and thrive, depending on a person’s opinion of his political objectives. But a major trip up in a new act could cost self storage owners a lot of money in the form of taxes and require piles of paperwork. [More]

Maine Voters Refuse to Lower Income Tax by Expanding Sales Tax to Include Services Such as Self Storage

by Holly Robinson June 10, 2010 4:17 PM
Although observers say that the people of Maine are in favor of tax reform generally, on Tuesday Maine’s voters rejected tax reform legislation for the fifth time in six years. In a 61 to 39 percent vote, Maine residents rejected a state tax package that would have lowered income taxes while broadening sales taxes to cover dozens of items, including self storage, that were not previously taxed. (The vote will not affect federal income taxes, only Maine’s state income tax and sales tax.) [More]

PA Governor Seeks to Tax Self Storage and Other Services

by Tony Gonzalez April 15, 2010 1:28 PM
In an attempt to balance their states' budgets, Michigan and North Carolina have been considering a tax on services, including self storage, for several months. Now Pennsylvania's Governor wants Pennsylvania to follow suit. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced earlier this month that he wants to lower Pennsylvania's sales tax from six percent to four percent, but apply it to more purchases, including sales of services such as self storage.

Only a few special kinds of sales would remain free of sales tax in Pennsylvania if Rendell's budget plan is approved by the legislature. The last remaining untaxed sales goods would be food, clothing, drugs, manufacturing, and sales by nonprofit groups. In addition to self storage, other services that would be taxed under Rendell's budget plan include home appraisals, engineering, accounting, legal services, and consulting. Nearly all services would be taxed in Pennsylvania -- health care services and educational tuition, however, would remain untaxed. [More]

Michigan Reconsiders Taxing Self Storage

by Tony Gonzalez April 1, 2010 4:25 PM
Michigan self storage facilities barely avoiding being subjected to a sales tax in December 2007, when Michigan’s legislature passed a six percent service sales tax and then repealed the tax only a few hours after it went into effect. Instead Michigan legislators decided to add a 21.99 percent surcharge to the state’s new business tax.

But now Michigan’s self storage industry faces the likelihood that the legislature will pass the service sales tax again. Michigan is projecting that in its upcoming fiscal year, starting in October, the state will have a $1.7 billion budget deficit. Governor Jennifer Granholm wants to reinstate the service sales tax to help make up the difference. She told the Michigan Public Radio Network this week that legislators, most of whom are up for reelection in November, would be better off agreeing to a service sales tax now than taking the risk of having to shut down the government for lack of money, a month before the general election. In October 2007, Michigan’s government had to partially shut down for four hours. [More]

Michigan May Include Self-Storage in Sales Tax

by Holly Robinson February 17, 2010 9:10 AM
Michigan's Governor, Jennifer Granholm, proposed yesterday that Michigan's sales tax be extended to cover consumer services, including self-storage. Granholm hopes to see the sales tax reduced from six percent to 5.5 percent. The change would raise another $550 million in revenue for the state of Michigan. Under Granholm's plan, the money would be used to help pay for public education, making it possible for Michigan schools to maintain their current level of spending. Michigan's Senate Fiscal Agency, which is a nonpartisan organization, previously announced that Michigan's school aid budget will have a $423 million deficit if more money is not raised. Michigan's general fund, likewise, will have a $1.2 billion deficit. Over the last two years, Michigan's general fund has dropped by $2 billion.

This is not the first time Michigan has considered extending its sales tax. A similar attempt was made two years ago, but was defeated as a result of lobbying and advocacy by the national Self Storage Association and the Self Storage Association of Michigan (SSAM). [More]