commiecorvus

Former Signing Ninja
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For those of you, like me, who have no idea WTF a public improvement fee (PIF) is, I grabbed this off a newspaper where people were wondering the same thing.

"PIF stands for Public Improvement Fee, and you may have seen it as an extra charge on a receipt when shopping around Colorado Springs or going out for dinner.

It’s not a tax, like some think it is. This fee does not come from the city, and it does not come from the store. The PIF is taken by the developer, or the landlord, of the property.

For example, at the Shoppes at South Nevada near Motor City, there is a Chick-fil-A, Zoe’s Kitchen, and Natural Grocers. At all of these establishments, there is a 2 percent PIF. That means whatever you spend on dinner or groceries, you’ll pay an additional 2 percent fee on top of the sales tax.

All three businesses in that area tell FOX21 they receive complaints about the PIF every day. They simply try to explain to the customer that it was put into place by the landlord, not the store itself.

We got a copy of the information booklet about PIFs given to the shops. It says the purpose of the PIF is to “find public improvements and other eligible costs associated with redevelopment and revitalization of the shopping center and surrounding areas.” "

So from what I can tell, different Target stores in the some town might or might not have the fee based on their landlord and the amounts could be different depending on how much the landlord chooses to charge.
I don't think this guy understands how it works but it is possible the POS is figuring it wrong.
 

IWishIKnew

This was supposed to be a seasonal job...
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That's seriously fucked up. That's the cost of fucking doing business, developers, and what people pay rent for and shit. Forcing businesses to pass that on to customer is some grade-A bullshit.
 

tholmes

Former Electronics TL
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That's seriously fucked up. That's the cost of fucking doing business, developers, and what people pay rent for and shit. Forcing businesses to pass that on to customer is some grade-A bullshit.
Indeed it is some grade-A BS, but the unfortunate thing here is that without these PIFs or RSFs (retail service fees), a lot of the shopping centers or buildings where the fees apply wouldn't have been built in the first place. Scummy? Yes, absolutely. But this seems to be the norm for cities that want to be able to expand or build new things at the rate customers demand they be built.

Last fun fact: most of these fees are set up to last anywhere from 20-50 years from the completion date of the shopping center funded in part by a PIF. Assuming a Spot were in a shopping center with a 0.75% PIF (which is lower than most) and averaged $100,000 per day in taxable sales (SuperSpot sales figures at A volume), that would amount to nearly 14 million dollars over the lifetime of a fifty year PIF.
 
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Indeed it is some grade-A BS, but the unfortunate thing here is that without these PIFs or RSFs (retail service fees), a lot of the shopping centers or buildings where the fees apply wouldn't have been built in the first place. Scummy? Yes, absolutely. But this seems to be the norm for cities that want to be able to expand or build new things at the rate customers demand they be built.

Last fun fact: most of these fees are set up to last anywhere from 20-50 years from the completion date of the shopping center funded in part by a PIF. Assuming a Spot were in a shopping center with a 0.75% PIF (which is lower than most) and averaged $100,000 per day in taxable sales (SuperSpot sales figures at A volume), that would amount to nearly 14 million dollars over the lifetime of a fifty year PIF.
Don't the consumers have a choice? Assuming they know, which, after they see their receipts they could? Consumers vote with their dollars. Shop there or don't. Buy from company A or don't.
 

Tessa120

I escaped the asylum!
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Indeed it is some grade-A BS, but the unfortunate thing here is that without these PIFs or RSFs (retail service fees), a lot of the shopping centers or buildings where the fees apply wouldn't have been built in the first place. Scummy? Yes, absolutely. But this seems to be the norm for cities that want to be able to expand or build new things at the rate customers demand they be built.

Last fun fact: most of these fees are set up to last anywhere from 20-50 years from the completion date of the shopping center funded in part by a PIF. Assuming a Spot were in a shopping center with a 0.75% PIF (which is lower than most) and averaged $100,000 per day in taxable sales (SuperSpot sales figures at A volume), that would amount to nearly 14 million dollars over the lifetime of a fifty year PIF.
I lived one city over from a city that paid for a major expressway through bonds, with tolls to pay back the bonds. The city had written the contract as a set number of years (I think it was 50; poor memory) or until the bonds were paid. About 2/3 of the way through the timetable someone tallied the numbers and found the bonds had already been paid off. He took the city to civil court to have the tolls removed based on breach of contract. The city argued a couple things, the main one being the time table and that the contract allowed for the tolls to pay for other roads. The court agreed with the citizen and the city was ordered to remove the tolls early.

The expressway ended right at an interstate that spurred off the main interstate. Within a year after removing the toll the expressway became part of that interstate. I wonder why.
 

tholmes

Former Electronics TL
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Apr 4, 2018
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Don't the consumers have a choice? Assuming they know, which, after they see their receipts they could? Consumers vote with their dollars. Shop there or don't. Buy from company A or don't.
Well, for one, most cities make it a part of a vote as to whether citizens want the shopping center development to proceed, given that the PIF would be included.

And for a lot of cities that size, the shopping center with the PIF would be the largest/most convenient place to go for the things customers need. Or, it's the only reasonable option for having a Spot to shop at (the other store in the city is miles away and older/smaller)
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
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Last fun fact: most of these fees are set up to last anywhere from 20-50 years from the completion date of the shopping center funded in part by a PIF.
During which time the retailer can see whether the location will continue to be lucrative.
There were several small communities in CA in which major retailers left when the incentives were set to expire.
 
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