Archive for Friday, February 6, 2004

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February 6, 2004

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Wagnon to give update on sales tax regulations

Kansas Department of Revenue Secretary Joan Wagnon will update area residents on controversial changes to the state's sales tax laws.

Wagnon will have a question-and-answer session at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Simons Media Room at the Dole Institute of Politics.

The Kansas Department of Revenue is overseeing changes in the sales tax law that require businesses who deliver products to customers to charge sales tax based on the rates of where the delivery is made. The previous law allowed businesses to charge a single rate based on the location of their stores.

Topeka

Payless projecting loss

Topeka-based Payless ShoeSource Inc. on Thursday said that January sales at stores open at least a year fell 0.3 percent, hurt by tough competition, and it warned of a full-year loss.

For the fourth quarter ending Jan. 31, the company said same-store sales slid 1 percent while total sales fell 9.4 percent to $644.4 million.

Payless said the continued aggressive discounts throughout the industry had pressured its results in the second half of the fiscal 2003. As a result, it expects to post a loss for the full year.

Analysts expected, on average, a full-year profit of 17 cents. Payless shares were down 23 cents to close at $13.50 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday.

Labor

Productivity report boosts recovery hopes

The productivity of America's workers slowed in the final three months of 2003, advancing at a 2.7 percent annual rate -- a respectable pace that bodes well for the economy's strengthening recovery.

The slowdown came after productivity -- the amount an employee produces per hour of work -- rocketed at a 9.5 percent rate in the third quarter, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

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