’s aggressive strategy for getting tax breaks has helped the company to grow, according to Good Jobs First, which tracks government subsidies and economic development. The e-commerce giant has received about 20 economic development subsidy packages a year since 2012 for its warehouses and data centers—$1.6 billion and counting as of mid-2018.

Further reading:

Florida man seeks a quarter of a billion dollars that won’t help state 

The Pathology of Privilege



Phone numbers are on the verge of extinction as almost half (46 percent) of Americans ages 18-22 ask for a social media handle instead of a phone number when meeting new people, according to a survey of mobile customers by Bank of America.

Other key findings:

Most Americans (58 percent) anticipate the country will become entirely cashless in their lifetime. About one quarter (23 percent) of Americans say they can avoid using cash for a month at a time, while 19 percent said they can forego using physical currency for a full year.

The most popular apps are navigation (used by 68 percent of consumers), entertainment (58 percent), retail (55 percent) and music (51 percent). Americans prefer an app that is easy to use (35 percent) and efficient (23 percent), compared with one that is entertaining (12 percent) or social (5 percent).

Person-to-person payments have become more popular, rising eight percentage points in the past year to 44 percent of consumers. PSP gift is considered appropriate for birthdays (58 percent of respondents), graduations (48 percent), holidays (48 percent), allowances (42 percent) and weddings (38 percent).

Mobile communications are the most common way to stay in touch with siblings (74 percent), friends (68 percent) and parents (53 percent), while in-person communication is more common with significant others (84 percent), children (67 percent) and colleagues (61 percent).

Mobile bank apps have grown their user base from 48 percent of people surveyed in 2015 to 70 percent this year. The biggest adopters of mobile banking are Generation Z (78 percent), millennials (77 percent), Generation X (67 percent) and baby boomers (59 percent).

Many Americans are comfortable using biometrics on their smartphones such as fingerprint/touch ID (69 percent), voice recognition (65 percent), facial recognition (50 percent) and retina scan (44 percent).

Researcher Convergys surveyed 1,001 adults 18 and older with a current bank account at Bank of America and who own a smartphone.

Traffic congestion is likely to get worse in the next few years for six main reasons, according to a report by the National Parking Association and PwC:

  1. Macroeconomic conditions. Vehicle miles traveled, which are directly correlated to economic growth, are forecast to grow by 14 percent from 2017 to 2030 as commercial activity expands.
  2. Urbanization. The U.S. population is growing and shifting from rural to urban areas. The portion of people living in urban areas will grow from 81 percent in 2010 to 85 percent in 2030.
  3. Transportation network company (TNC) growth. Ride-hailing is boosting demand for transportation while shifting travel from public transit. The shift puts more cars on the street and contributes to congestion at the curb.
  4. E-commerce growth. Deliveries are increasing, and they’re not reducing private-vehicle use for trips to shopping malls and brick-and-mortar stores as much as was once expected. E-commerce increased from 0.3 percent of retail spending in 1998 to 8.7 percent in 2014.
  5. Infrastructure underinvestment. U.S. public infrastructure was awarded a grade of D+ by the American Society of Civil Engineers and needs more investment to keep pace with that of other developed nations. The federal gasoline tax, which funds much of transportation infrastructure expenditure, hasn’t been raised since 1993.
  6. Policy and program development. Current policies and programs have had mixed success in reducing congestion, with many leading to unintended consequences that make congestion.

Students in the U.S. are most likely globally to use technology to complete assignments in the classroom, according to a survey by Cambridge International. About three out of four U.S. students (74 percent) use their smartphones as educational aids in the classroom, compared with 42 percent globally.


U.S. students are the least likely (12 percent) to receive tutoring outside of school hours, while students in China are the most likely (57 percent). Globally, four in 10 students (43 percent) globally reported receiving tutoring outside of school.


Six in 10 U.S. students (60 percent) don’t play any sport at school, second-highest only to Spain (62 percent). The most commonly played sport in the United States is cross-country and track (10 percent).

The Global Education Census report focused on 10 countries: the United States, China, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Indonesia and Argentina.

The state and local taxes paid by businesses rose 2 percent to $738.4 billion in 2017 from the prior year, according to a study by Ernst & Young LLP, the Council on State Taxation and the State Tax Research Institute.

State business taxes increased by 0.4 percent and local business tax grew by 3.7 percent. Business tax revenue accounted for approximately 44% of all state and local tax revenue in 2017.

Property taxes had the biggest share of total state and local business tax revenue at 38.9 percent, or $287.4 billion, in 2017. Business property tax revenue rose 3.9 percent in 2017, the fifth time since 2009 that the growth rate was greater than 1 percent.

State and local corporate income and business gross receipts tax revenue fell 0.7 percent to $62.7 billion in 2017. Federal tax reform, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), was signed into law in December of 2017, reducing federal corporate income taxes while expanding state income tax bases.

General sales and use tax revenue derived from businesses on purchases of inputs, including capital equipment, rose 2.7 percent to $157.4 billion in 2017 from the prior year, making up 21.3 percent of all state and local business taxes. Sales taxes on business inputs are the largest state tax paid by businesses, representing 32.4 percent of all state taxes paid by businesses.

Fifty percent of respondents who had transacted on the Drizly platform said that they had purchased from an order-fulfilling retailer for the first time. Moreover, 64 percent of those first-time customers said that they had subsequently shopped, or would strongly consider shopping, at the retailer’s physical location after their initial purchase through Drizly, whose network encompasses nearly 1,000 retail locations in the United States and Canada, according to a statement.

Key findings from the survey of about 4,000 Drizly users in October:

  • 50%: consumers reported shopping at a retailer for the first time through the Drizly platform
  • 64%: first-time shoppers of a retailer through Drizly said they would consider shopping at the same retailer’s physical location
  • 98%: shoppers who said they would purchase again on Drizly from a retailer that they had already shopped on the platform
  • 75%: shoppers that have repeat-purchased through Drizly have done so from the same retailer