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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1999 The Palm Beach Post s c SECTION B LOCAL NEWS: Palm Beach County's Hispanic population booms at twice U.S. ratesTORY, sb B Politicians voting for Internet sales tax might feel byte at polls By David E. Kalish The Associated Press NEW YORK A commission of government and business representatives that is studying how to tax sales over the Internet could hit some heavy public opposition, judging from a new survey. More than a third of registered voters who are active Internet users would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports taxes on Internet sales, said the poll, released Tuesday, the first day of the commission's meeting in New York. The Gallup Organization and plan, an online market research firm, did the survey. chief executive of plan in Stamford, Conn. Congress formed the commission in October as it imposed a three-year moratorium on any new state or local taxes on Internet access or sales. It has until April to make recommendations, which could result in legislation. Several commission members have voiced support for some form of taxation as long as the system makes it easy for companies to collect. Paramount among the considerations is gaining agreements from governments to adopt a single tax rate for each state, or to adopt new technologies that would allow businesses to figure out any tax rate. ! But such a single-tax system could mean i sweeping changes in how states and localities han- ' die taxation. Thousands of jurisdictions levy a wide ; range of taxes based on where the item is bought j Taxing an out-of-state buyer adds a new and vexing j level of complexity. ; Some group members, including the commis- sion's chairman, Gov. James Gilmore of Virginia, j are not convinced that an Internet tax is needed. Please see INTERNET, 2B Almost 75 percent of active Internet users oppose such taxes, compared with 14 percent in favor. The poll also found that 58 percent believe taxing goods and services bought online would hurt the growth of Internet commerce. The findings suggest why the 19-member Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce, which Congress created last year, remains divided on key issues seven months before it is scheduled to make tax policy recommendations. "Registered voters are saying it may become an issue with political traction," said Mark Wright, Retail sales rise t I til Ml-- 1.2 in IS I : kiVJW-i 1 J j -. 4.A1 ' fJl W- . .. , V 1 r I f : August Financial markets plunged ; on the news, with the Dow falling 120 points. By Martin Crutsinger The Associated Press WASHINGTON Consumers went ; on a buying binge in August, the government said Tuesday in a report that seemed to increase the chance of a third interest rate increase by the Federal Re-; serve this year. The Commerce Department report- i ed Tuesday that retail sales jumped 1.2 percent last month, the biggest increase in six months, as consumers snapped up ; new cars, furniture and clothing at a! rapid clip. In a second report, the government said the U.S. current account trade defi- cit climbed to an all-time high of $80.7 ; billion in the April-June quarter of this year. That was up 17.5 percent from a first-quarter deficit of $68.7 billion, the ; previous record. Financial markets took a nosedive on the stronger-than-expected retail sales figures. Investors fear the surge in con-; sumer spending fully two-thirds of the ; total U.S. economy would force the Fed's hand on rates on the principle that : rapid economic growth normally trig Time Warner taps TBS chief to direct its online efforts The media giant expects William Burke, one of Turner Broadcasting's Young Turks, to bolster its online division. By Frances Katz Palm Beach Post-Cox News Service ATLANTA William Burke, 33, will take on the prodigious job of building Time Warner Inc.'s news and information Internet presence. He is currently president of TBS Su-perstation and Turner South, but Tuesday was named president and CEO of news and information for Time Warner Digitial Media. Burke's job will be to develop a strategic plan to integrate the various Time Warner news and information properties into a viable Web site at which consumers will want to spend time and make purchases, said Richard Bressler, president and CEO of Time Warner Digital. Burke has a reputation as a programming strategist and hopes to transfer those skills into his new role. , "What I've asked Bill to do is develop a business strategy for all our news and information assets for all of the Time Warner, Time Inc. or Turner" entities, said Bressler. Bressler said the goal is "to build the number one online experience for consumers with news and information." Burke has been one of Turner Broadcasting's Young Turks. He named president of TBS in 1995 at the age of 29. His mission, which the company considers fulfilled, was to raise the brand recognition of the channel. Burke did so by adding lots of contemporary reruns from network television. He also added some new shows, such as one starring chimpanzees. Burke is a marketer by training. In his career, he has successfully marketed everything from Mattel's He-Man dolls to Disney characters. Time Warner's online plans call for several specialized online information sites including sports and business sites, in addition to the news and information sites that represent such heavy hitters as CNN and Time magazine. However, Time Warner Digital Media has its work cut out. The new Web strategy will replace Time Warner's Pathfinder.com, the once pioneering Web site that placed all of Time Warner's legendary magazine titles including Time, Life, Sports Illustrated, Money and People under the Pathfinder banner and nearly out of sight of the average Web surfer. Both Bressler and Burke stress that the new Time Warner Web sites won't be anything like Pathfinder. They'll be better designed, developed and promoted. I) ; 4 . f"W .xj . Photos by SAMUEL HOFFMANTtie Associated Press quarters in Fort Wayne, Ind. The combined company is expected to generate $2 billion in annual revenue. Barry Uber, president and CEO of North American Van Lines, explains the merger Tuesday at company head- gers inflation. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 120 points to 10,910.33, though the Nas North American an Lines, Allied merge to form mega moving company daq composite index gained 23.52 to 2868.29. Bond prices also fell. The 1.2 percent rise in retail sales was almost double what private economists expected and followed a 1 percent July advance. It called into question forecasts that the economy would slow , significantly in the second half of this .year as two rate increases from the Fed and rising mortgage rates were expected to take a toll on interest-sensitive sectors of the economy such as housing. : "Consumers are continuing to buy anything and everything," said Mark Zandi, economist at Regional Financial ; Associates in West Chester, Pa.; "Aggressive consumer spending has; been the principal source of the econo- ' my's growth, and it is continuing to drive ' the economy forward." Zandi said the big retail sales figure 1 for August probably will tip the Fed into raising rates at their Oct. 5 meeting, es- j penally if today's report on consumer5 inflation points to worrisome signs of; increased price pressures. I The huge sales gains were attributed ! to strong consumer confidence, bol--stered by the high-flying stock market ; and an unemployment rate hovering near a three-decade low of 4.2 percent for ; most of this year. ! "With these positive economic indi-: cators still in place, we can expect the fall and holiday seasons to be very success-: ful," said Rosalind Wells, chief econo-! mist for the National Retail Federation. 1 dent and chief executive officer for Allied, will continue to lead that business in the United States and Canada. Rogers said the strength gained through combining the companies will give them an opportunity to achieve market leadership by becoming a more effective global company in relocation services and logistics solutions. "We bring together two outstanding teams with an agent network unmatched in the industry," Uber said. "Our ability to deliver differentiated solutions to our customers will make us a powerful global competitor." Fergus said the size, scope and management leadership in the combined company will enable it to offer the industry's most innovative service. North American, founded in 1933, employs about 3,200 people worldwide and moved more than 440,000 shipments last year. Allied Van Lines, established in 1928, employs 4,000 people worldwide. based parent, NFC PLC, $400 million in cash and $25 million in preferred and common stock that represents a 20 percent stake in the combined business, NA Holding Corp. NFC also will receive warrants to receive an additional 10 percent stake in the company. "The merger is a terrific strategic fit between two companies with complementary strengths and exceptional brand names," said Joseph Rice, chairman of CD&R. All of Allied's moving services business Allied in the United States and Canada, Pickfords in the United Kingdom, and Allied Pickfords in Europe, Australia and Asia would maintain those brand names. James W. Rogers of CD&R will serve as chairman of the combined company, and R. Barry Uber, North American's president and chief executive officer, will continue as chief executive officer. Michael Fergus, presi The firm that owns North American Van Lines is paying $450 million in cash and stock for Allied. By J.R. Ross The Associated Press FORT WAYNE, Ind. North American Van Lines and Allied Van Lines are combining in a $450 million deal, creating one of the world's largest household movers. The resulting company, which will based in Fort Wayne, Ind., will have locations in 36 countries and 1,100 agents in North America, with annual revenue of $2 billion. Regulators still have to approve the deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Clayton, Dubilier & Rice Inc., a New York-based investment firm that owns a majority stake in North American, said it will pay Allied's London- Dow closed at: 10,910.33, down 120 NYSE composite: 615.11, down 5.70 Nasdaq: 2,868.29, up 23.52 Amex: 801.48, down 3.02 Russell 2000: 438.24, down 1.41 Toronto: 7,138.09, up 19.97 30-year bond: 6.05 percent Dow: Minute by minute Applied Digital applies to spin off Internet unit 10980, 1 i4r-l 10970J Applied Digital Solutions Six-month performance 10950 1 V ZJV 10940 -J V 10930 V V 10910 VAf V 1 0900 i ' ' "i"1 I 1 1 I 10 11 12 1 2 3 4 Dow: Week by week 11400, i 1 1 1 1 1 I income of $ 1 million for the same period the year before. Applied Digital Solutions, which builds wireless phone systems, holds a 79.92 percent stake in Intellesale. The Palm Beach-based company changed its name from Applied Cellular Technology in July. Snares in Applied Digital (Nasdaq: ADSX) rose 13 cents Tuesday to close at $2.06. The filing did not disclose the exact number of shares Intellesale hopes to sell or the amount it hopes to get for them. Intellesale's underwriters are Laden-burg Thalmann & Co. and Punk, Ziegel & Co. Intellesale has applied to trade on the Nasdaq stock market under the symbol SALE. B Bloomberg News contributed to this story. Intellesale said it is focusing its sales effort on the Internet after selling both from its Web site and traditional outlets. The company has marketing arrangements with OnSale.com and uBid.com, where it conducts auctions of its products. "We are not aware of any major online retailers currently focusing principally on refurbished computer equipment," the company said. Intellesale said it also sells used computers to traditional wholesalers, retailers, resellers and corporations and provides parts on demand and transportation services for computers and other equipment. Intellesale reported revenue of $39.2 million and net income of $1.3 million for the six months ending June 30. That compares with revenue of $28 million and net Palm Beach Post Staff and Wire Reports PALM BEACH Applied Digital Solutions has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise $57.5 million in an initial public offering of its Intellesale.com subsidiary. Intellesale.com, which is based in Lincoln Park, N.J., sells new and used computer equipment and components through the Internet. Intellesale said it will use proceeds from the sale for marketing and promotional efforts. "We believe the demand for refurbished brand-name computer equipment is growing as consumers realize they can purchase refurbished products that can serve their needs at substantial discounts to the price of new merchandise," the company said in its filing. 4 i 2.0 LJ- 11300 I Jl - 10900 VV if W 10800 -j Vt' 10700 VJ yv 10600 y 10500 V ,ll , , , 1 Ur-J 315 49 57 64 72 81 914 Source: Bloomberg News 8-25 9-8 6-16 6-30 7-14 7-28 8-11 ROB BARGEStaff Artist Breaks indicate market holidays.