New York has revived a proposal that sought to add a $3 delivery surcharge to every package delivered within the borders of New York City. They claim that this additional fee will stop Amazon from dominating the retail landscape, and will help the MTA with their budget shortfall.
Also touted is its ability to reduce truck traffic in New York City. While this may happen, is it really worth the cost to small businesses that is is likely to create?
It should be remembered that this proposal is quite unlikely to have much of a negative effect on Amazon. What it is likely to do is to squash all of the small business online competition that Amazon has, and cement their dominance.
People are quite unlikely to stop getting Amazon packages. Most people use Amazon nearly every day, and buy everything from them. Since most people order multiple items at the same time, all that it will serve to do is reduce the frequency of Amazon buying, where instead of buying one item at a time, customers will hold off on ordering until they have five or more items in their shopping cart.
What is also likely to happen is that customers considering buying from online small business websites will think twice about purchasing from them, instead bringing their business to Amazon.
Another business likely to suffer exponential losses from this new law would be Amazon’s stiffest and most tenacious competitor, eBay. Ebay almost always sells just one item at a time, usually at a relatively low cost, often lower than Amazon’s price for the same item.
So, if someone living in New York City decides they want to purchase an item from eBay, they will then have to pay an extra $3 for every item that they buy. So, maybe they want to buy a piece of clothing that costs $5-7. Suddenly, that one item will cost $10. That will certainly put a huge damper on eBay’s business model, perhaps forcing them to downsize if the law passes.
Surely, there are other ways to handle the MTA’s shortfall. Perhaps some of the revenue generated from the thousands of new speed cameras installed in New York City at the height of the pandemic, can be shared with the MTA. New Yorkers certainly don’t need another new tax when they have so very many already.
New York has some of the highest sales taxes, income taxes, and property taxes in the country. According to a study conducted in June of this year by WalletHub, New York has the highest overall tax burden, and the highest individual income tax burden in the country. Perhaps the MTA can petition the city to share some of this revenue with them, so that they won’t have to lay off workers and cut the service by 40%.
If New York City truly allows the MTA to just fail, when they could help them with revenues from other organizations, then New York will fall far behind most other cities in the country in terms of travel and transit.
Whereas people would say that they once were able to ride the subway and buses to reliably get to work, if it is cut by almost half, that won’t be the case anymore. As many states and individuals are calling on the federal government for a new economic stimulus bill, now would certainly be a good time for Congress to act and save the MTA.