In Ahwatukee, it seems that the local and independent stores that made us unique are becoming endangered. I know there could be many reasons for this such as our economic downturn, but I would like to propose a reason that is not getting much attention: the fact that online retail does not have to charge sales tax. This never crossed my mind until visiting some local stores over the Christmas shopping season and hearing their complaints over this unfair disadvantage.
How are we as a town supposed to encourage independent small business when the rules are skewed towards online retailers. I don't know what the solution is, maybe our Legislature can take action this session, I do know that we cannot continue to down this path because it's not fair to our local shops that make Ahwatukee what it is.