Season 2 Ep. 3: E-Commerce and the Amazon Effect

In our third episode of the Center of Everywhere Podcast, researcher Kelly Asche explores the topic of the amazon effect on retail and local tax revenue with UMN Extension community economics educators Neil Linscheid and Ryan Pesch.

Online sales have permeated everyday life and their impacts stretch beyond convenience of shopping. Local leaders see the evidence every day in their communities: more and more delivery trucks going down their roads, stopping at their neighbors’ or their own houses, dropping off products that were once maybe purchased in their own or a nearby community.

They’re also seeing the closure of retail storefronts. They hear about their local landfills reaching capacity earlier than predicted due to the higher amounts of waste from household deliveries. And after decades of watching businesses move away from their communities to concentrate in economic centers, rural leaders are left wondering if this is the “next shoe to drop” in their community’s economic demise. And at the same time, leaders in the economic centers that have benefited from decades of shopping behaviors shifting in their favor now worry that online sales are a threat to the revenue they’ve been relying on themselves.

This episode touches on many of the topics explored the Center’s report, The Amazon Effect and Rural Tax Revenues, including the shifting retail landscape in rural communities, the rise of online shopping, and the actions taken by the state of Minnesota to ensure tax revenue from online sales are distributed to the proper county or municipality.