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Rule filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Apr 20, 2015

Internet Sales Tax Fairness – Washington (Proposed)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/internet-sales-tax-fairness/internet-sales-tax-fairness-washington-proposed/

In February of 2015, an e-fairness bill began working through the Washington state Legislature that goes beyond the online sales tax fairness measures that other states have taken. The bill seeks to define people or businesses as having a substantial nexus with the state, even if they are organized or incorporated outside of the state, if they have more than $50,000 property in the state, more than $50,000 of payroll in the state, more than $250,000 of receipts from the state, or 25 percent or more their total property, payroll, or receipts in the state. Continue reading

rooftop solar – Montgomery County Planning Commission flickr
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Mar 24, 2015

Rhode Island Standard Contracts Program Grows Distributed Generation

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/distributed-generation-rhode-island/

This is an invited guest post from Virginia Rutter of Eutectics. By the end of 2019, Rhode Island has a goal to have 200 MW of distributed renewable energy generation in the state, most of it solar. The primary means by which Rhode Island means to meet this goal is through the use of standardized… Continue reading

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Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 27, 2015

Can a State’s Solar Party Start Without It?

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/states-solar-party-start-it/

In about half of U.S. states, an individual or business can have solar installed on their roof owned by someone else, and either buy the power or lease the array from that third party. These power purchase or lease models drastically simplify the process of going solar (at a price), avoiding the work of managing… Continue reading

Rule filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Feb 25, 2015

Investment Cooperatives

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/community-ownership-commercial-spaces/investment-cooperatives/

In the vacuum left by traditional economic development and Wall Street’s approach to finance, investment cooperatives allow communities to put their capital to work in their local economy, catalyze the creation of new jobs, re-imagine their neighborhoods, and earn a return on their investment. Continue reading

Rule filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Feb 24, 2015

Community Ownership of Commercial Spaces

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/community-ownership-commercial-spaces/

Community ownership of commercial spaces offers benefits that include new jobs in the neighborhood, strong incentives for people to shop locally, local sources for key goods, closer ties with neighbors, and in some cases, a return on investment. Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Feb 15, 2015

Want FTTH? Move to North Dakota, Reports USDA

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/want-ftth-move-to-north-dakota-reports-usda/

A recent USDA report reveals that fossil fuels are not the only thing booming in North Dakota. The state ranked 47 for population is ranked number 1 as having the highest percentage of people with access to FTTH.  According to a Telecompetitor article, their status can be attributed to an abundance of rural cooperatives and… Continue reading

titanic iceberg - flickr Jimmy
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Feb 6, 2015

Are We Sunk? The Electric Utility’s Titanic Problem

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/electric-utility-titanic-problem/

In my recent report on the utility business model of the future, I laid out 5 pillars of a democratic energy system. It’s hard not to notice the contrast between this vision of the future and the 15-year business plan laid out by Xcel Energy in Minnesota, the incumbent monopoly serving about half the state’s… Continue reading

Rule filed under Independent Business | Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Jan 23, 2015

Internet Sales Tax Fairness – Michigan

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/rule/internet-sales-tax-fairness/internet-sales-tax-fairness-michigan/

In January 2015, Michigan passed legislation that will require out-of-state sellers to collect state sales taxes if they use in-state sales affiliates or otherwise have a nexus to the state, and if 1) they generate more than $10,000 in annual in-state sales via those affiliates, and 2) they generate more than $50,000 in annual sales to Michigan residents. The law received bipartisan support, and was passed by the state’s Republican-controlled legislature, and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. The law will take effect on October 1, 2015. Continue reading

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Article filed under Broadband | Written by Lisa Gonzalez | No Comments | Updated on Jan 22, 2015

Maine Legislature All About That Broadband in 2015

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/maine-legislature-all-about-that-broadband-in-2015/

Maine continues to be a hot spot in the drive to improve connectivity as the 2015 state legislative session opens. According to the Bangor Daily News, 35 bills have been introduced that deal with broadband issues. The story also notes that several lawmakers have introduced bills that propose funding from the state. House Republican Norman… Continue reading

luxury tax monopoly - flickr Philip Taylor
Article filed under Energy, Energy Self-Reliant States | Written by John Farrell | 1 Comment | Updated on Jan 9, 2015

Electricity’s Un-Natural Monopoly

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/electricitys-unnatural-monopoly/

The U.S. electricity system is undergoing the biggest change in its 130-year history, undermining the rationale for monopoly ownership and control. Until recently, electricity service was similar to water or roads, where a natural monopoly was most efficient. Only a single, standardized electric grid was needed to connect each building. Technology options were limited to… Continue reading