Online Shopping Costing Boulder Colorado Millions


The City of Boulder is looking at lobbying for a change in the federal law so that they can get sales tax dollars from online sales.

Apparently city officials estimate that the City of Boulder loses between 2.5 to 5 million in tax revenue as residents continue to increase their habit of making online purchases instead of shopping at local stores.

Reports from online retailers say that Cyber Monday sales are up about 17 percent over Cyber Monday sales in 2011.

One of the things that’s boosted online sales appears to be the prevalence of mobile applications.

Call, text, or email me today! 

I’d seriously enjoy having the opportunity to talk to you about your plans if you’re moving, or if you know someone who is considering a move, and needs some straight answers.

Mobile apps have increased almost exponentially in the last year or two, and this has given many people a pathway to purchase directly from their phone. I’ll admit I’ve been in a big box book retailer a time or two and noticed a book I wanted, looked it up on Amazon, and made the purchase via my phone using the Amazon app. Main reason is, I’m saving money. One way: I get free shipping, lower price on the book, and no tax. I’m starting to migrate towards e-books that I read on my iPhone which is even more of a cost savings, and more convenient. No kindle for me brother… the more I can keep things on one device the better.
For the tax on Internet sales in the city of Boulder, I heard that the last time the State of Colorado attempted to tax Internet sales, it was a disaster. According to Brad Feld, managing director of the Foundry Group, as quoted in the Colorado Daily, after Colorado passed a law asking in-state “affiliates” of online retailers to collect sales tax, online retail giant Amazon fired its Colorado affiliates, including Feld.As my daughter said once, “why would I wear a watch, it’s a single-function device”.

Problem is, with people shopping online, especially within the local store, we’re likely killing off small, local businesses. So we have to ask ourselves, do we want to entirely remove our choice to shop locally.

Frankly I think it’s a conundrum. I can’t imagine not being able to head over to McGuckin Hardware and pick up that tool, or bolt, or plumbing item right when I need it. Leaky toilet and I have to wait a day or two or three to fix it? No thanks.

I suppose it pays to shop locally as much as one can, and in certain times the wallet will conflict with urgency of need to determine which way we go in the future.

Zachary Epps, GRI, ABR, REALTOR®, Eco-Broker®, full-time RE/MAX professional, and author of

The Boulder Real Estate and Neighborhood Guide 

The Boulder Condo Guide 

The Home Buyer’s Handbook

Call, text, or email me today!… I’d seriously enjoy having the opportunity to talk to you about your plans if you’re moving, or if you know someone who is considering a move, and needs some straight answers.



One Response to “Online Shopping Costing Boulder Colorado Millions”

  1. Charles Wilkins on December 16th, 2012 12:55 am

    I have just arrived at your website because I was intending to buy some items, in Boulder, for my daughter and son in law who currently reside there. The article on online shopping is interesting as it appears to me to be a typical knee jerk reaction to change. Your follow up comments suggest that you are aware that this is a problem that needs to be investigated. I would not think of looking for a new house other than on the ‘net so why would I not look for what I want to buy using the same system. Quite often I will check products on offer worldwide before buying locally. I see opportunities for local business to offer personalised service to locals as well as offer their own products to a larger group of purchasers via the internet. With the high street now looking the same wordwide this is becoming more difficult. Perhaps a return to local production of unique items would be one way forward. I wish you a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.

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