Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on Facebook
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
Pin on Pinterest
Blog Home

Dave Ratner joins business owners talking taxes, wages, in Washington

By Jim Kinney |

AGAWAM — Dave Ratner, owner of Dave’s Soda & Pet City, often appears in the company of a furry or feathered pet.

But later this month he’ll be with U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives when he goes to Washington to lobby along with other retailers as part of the National Retail Federation’s annual fly-in, the Retail Advocates Summit, July 29 and 30.

Ratner is on the board of the National Retail Federation along with executives from industry giants like Macy’s, Tractor Supply and even Petco, which operates in the same product lines Ratner sells. His Dave’s Soda & Pet City has seven stores totaling 150 employees.

“Washington listens to small business folks,” Ratner said in an interview Thursday.

Ratner’s most recent store, in Stafford Springs, Conn., opened last year.

He plans to talk about “Main Street Fairness“, a proposal to require Internet retailers to charge state sales tax. Not charging the tax puts brick-and-mortar stores in Massachusetts at a 6.25-percent disadvantage.

“Why wouldn’t you order something out of state and not pay the sales tax?” he said.

According to the NRF , economist Arthur Laffer estimates that passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act could lead to a $563 billion increase in gross domestic product and 1.5 million new jobs by 2022 by stimulating the retail sector.

Ratner also plans to talk about reforming the corporate income tax. He, like other NRF members in small business, want the overall corporate tax rate lowered and the loopholes done away with.

“You know, the loopholes that allow General Electric and the big boys to not pay income tax,” Ratner said.

It’s not a federal issue, but Ratner plans to also talk minimum wage issues with the Massachusetts delegation. Massachusetts  recently decided to raise the minimum wage gradually, to $9 per hour in 2015, $10 in 2016 and $11 in 2017.

The problem is if neighboring states don’t follow with similar increases, Ratner said, a store in East Longmeadow could be put at a disadvantage to a store in neighboring Enfield, Connecticut.

“Just ask the liquor stores in New Hampshire,” he said.

Ratner said he and his fellow retailers would have also liked to see workers under 18 exempted from the minimum-wage increases.

“What you will see, not at my stores but you will see it, is a decline in customer service as stores cut back on payroll costs,” Ratner said.

Ratner said Dave’s Soda & Pet City will likely avoid hiring as many people, but give more working hours to the staff it does have. That saves the administrative cost of having a person on the payroll even if the hourly rate is high.

In Washington, Ratner is also in the running to be named America’s Retail Champion, a new program NRF created  to recognize outstanding retail industry and small business advocates, according to a news release.  The federation will name a champion during the summit.

Dave Ratner featured in MassLive
Article Featured in MassLive:


Posted in Articles, Management, Retail on July 17, 2014 by Dave Ratner.

No Comments Yet

You can be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Unleash Dave's Strategies At Your Next Event —Contact Dave Today!