Uncategorized

Internet Sales Tax: It’s Coming

The last great bastion of unfettered capitalism – a.k.a. the Internet – is about to feel the boot of government taxation. All in the name of “state sovereignty” (you know, because God Forbid we call a multi-billion dollar tax hike a multi-billion dollar tax hike). The so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act”…

The last great bastion of unfettered capitalism – a.k.a. the Internet – is about to feel the boot of government taxation.

All in the name of “state sovereignty” (you know, because God Forbid we call a multi-billion dollar tax hike a multi-billion dollar tax hike).

The so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act” – a.k.a. S. 743 – was cleared for debate by the U.S. Senate this week on a 74-20 vote, which means it now needs only a simple majority of the Democratic-controlled chamber to advance. Previous iterations of this legislation – including the 2011 “Main Street Fairness” act – failed to pass, but there’s real momentum behind this legislation.

Why? Because numerous “Republicans” – including fiscally liberal U.S. Senators like Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Lamar Alexander – voted to move this tax hike forward. Sure, they’ll eventually vote “against” it … but when they had a chance to kill it in its tracks, they let it pass.

Amazing, isn’t it? The GOP couldn’t even muster 41 votes to block a multi-billion dollar government revenue grab.

Cutting to the chase regarding this abomination was Tyler Durden (yes, THAT Tyler Durden) of our favoritest blog Zero Hedge.

“Since a tax is a tax is a tax, it means that the purchasing power of online shopping Americans will be uniformly reduced by some X (percent), depending on what the final tax structure is agreed upon, which also means that the volume of all online transactions will have to decline by a corresponding amount all else equal, in turn leading to lower overall revenues and profits for online retailers,” Durden wrote. “But at least the Federal government will have more cash to waste on such high ROI generating projects as Solyndra and Fisker.”

Exactly …

Grab your socks and hose and pull, people. Cause this is gonna hurt …

***

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80 comments

Squishy123 April 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Never understood why we didn’t have to pay local sales tax in the seller’s state anyway when ordering online or by mail. If I buy in person I have to pay sales tax.

Reply
vathgar April 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm

For the most part it really isn’t a tax hike, it is just a way to collect taxes that most people defraud the government on that are in place already, namely use taxes.

Reply
dwb619 April 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Exactly.

Reply
SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm

There is little fraud involved. The US Supreme Court has ruled that the individual states have no authority to reach outside their borders to collect sales tax.

Reply
Squishy123 April 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Never understood why we didn’t have to pay local sales tax in the seller’s state anyway when ordering online or by mail. If I buy in person I have to pay sales tax.

Reply
vathgar April 23, 2013 at 3:18 pm

For the most part it really isn’t a tax hike, it is just a way to collect taxes that most people defraud the government on that are in place already, namely use taxes.

Reply
dwb619 April 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Exactly.

Reply
SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm

There is little fraud involved. The US Supreme Court has ruled that the individual states have no authority to reach outside their borders to collect sales tax.

Reply
tomstickler April 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm

This is neither a new tax, nor a tax hike. Anyone living in South Carolina, or in any other state with a sales tax, is obliged to pay use tax on any online purchases on which sales tax was not collected by the vendor. Also on subscriptions and products purchased personally in another state with a lower sales tax.

Anyone filing an SC1040 had an opportunity to pay their use tax — it was line 26 — before signing that the return was true and accurate.

If you owed it and did not pay, you are a tax cheat, pure and simple, so don’t come back with any bullshit replies.

Reply
tomstickler April 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm

By the way, Amazon is now in favor of this bill after pissing and moaning about pulling their distribution center out of South Carolina unless they were allowed to not collect South Carolina sales taxes on South Carolina sales.

Reply
SeneseLikeChaps April 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I was flipping channels and saw Durbin lying through this teeth about this one. He claimed that the processing for this stuff would be done through some free government app, and that mom and pop web vendors just have track where sales come from and the app will handle the rest. Magic.

What he neglected to say was that this won’t be a “free government app”. Amazon has already built their own commerce engine to handle this stuff. They are aiming to be the internet tax man and make a hefty profit off of processing and whatever else they can ratchet up.

Their excuse: This is capitalism, we saw the writing on the wall and somebody had to do it. Too bad they didn’t mention that they have some of that paint from the wall writing on their hands. Capitalism must be nice when governments hand you money printing machines.

I’m not opposed to paying my taxes, I’m opposed to Amazon getting a free ride and a pre-cornered market.

Reply
Keith Yockey April 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Amazon collects 2,9% for the tax collected, the same as PP for ebay sales, but both require the seller to file those same taxes.

Reply
Dirk Diggler April 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm

You are fucking nuts. Who has time to keep up with all of that shit, let alone stay abreast of the ridiculous tax code that we have…code that the IRS can’t even keep straight. Have 24 people do your tax return and you will get 24 fucking different answers. This is why we need a simple flat tax that is fair to everyone across the board. Everyone except the subterranean leeches that live off the current tax code…whoops, that is probably YOU!!!

Reply
cuvinny April 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Ignoring how fucking stupid a flat tax is, are you saying internet purchases are exempt from pay?

And leeches of the tax code? The leechers are the Mitt Romney’s of the world.

Reply
Smirks April 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Forget for/against this bill, are you really suggesting sales tax is a difficult thing to keep up with?

Reply
SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Yes, with 9640 sales tax jurisdictions in the US, plus exemptions and different rates by class of buyer and class of goods, there are 90,000 different rates.

Reply
Keith Yockey April 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm

The flat tax you are advocating exempts Sales Tax, both State and Local.

Reply
SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Talk to me about it after you get rid of all the special breaks and exemptions and all the local options sales taxes. The same rate for everyone.

The Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot collect taxes on those outside their borders. So don’t call us cheaters.

Reply
tomstickler April 23, 2013 at 3:23 pm

This is neither a new tax, nor a tax hike. Anyone living in South Carolina, or in any other state with a sales tax, is obliged to pay use tax on any online purchases on which sales tax was not collected by the vendor. Also on subscriptions and products purchased personally in another state with a lower sales tax.

Anyone filing an SC1040 had an opportunity to pay their use tax — it was line 26 — before signing that the return was true and accurate.

If you owed it and did not pay, you are a tax cheat, pure and simple, so don’t come back with any bullshit replies.

Reply
tomstickler April 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm

By the way, Amazon is now in favor of this bill after pissing and moaning about pulling their distribution center out of South Carolina unless they were allowed to not collect South Carolina sales taxes on South Carolina sales.

Reply
SeneseLikeChaps April 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm

I was flipping channels and saw Durbin lying through this teeth about this one. He claimed that the processing for this stuff would be done through some free government app, and that mom and pop web vendors just have track where sales come from and the app will handle the rest. Magic.

What he neglected to say was that this won’t be a “free government app”. Amazon has already built their own commerce engine to handle this stuff. They are aiming to be the internet tax man and make a hefty profit off of processing and whatever else they can ratchet up.

Their excuse: This is capitalism, we saw the writing on the wall and somebody had to do it. Too bad they didn’t mention that they have some of that paint from the wall writing on their hands. Capitalism must be nice when governments hand you money printing machines.

I’m not opposed to paying my taxes, I’m opposed to Amazon getting a free ride and a pre-cornered market.

Reply
Keith Yockey April 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Amazon collects 2,9% for the tax collected, the same as PP for ebay sales, but both require the seller to file those same taxes.

Reply
Dirk Diggler April 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm

You are fucking nuts. Who has time to keep up with all of that shit, let alone stay abreast of the ridiculous tax code that we have…code that the IRS can’t even keep straight. Have 24 people do your tax return and you will get 24 fucking different answers. This is why we need a simple flat tax that is fair to everyone across the board. Everyone except the subterranean leeches that live off the current tax code…whoops, that is probably YOU!!!

Reply
cuvinny April 23, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Ignoring how fucking stupid a flat tax is, are you saying internet purchases are exempt from pay?

And leeches of the tax code? The leechers are the Mitt Romney’s of the world.

Reply
Smirks April 23, 2013 at 10:37 pm

Forget for/against this bill, are you really suggesting sales tax is a difficult thing to keep up with?

Reply
SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Yes, with 9640 sales tax jurisdictions in the US, plus exemptions and different rates by class of buyer and class of goods, there are 90,000 different rates.

Reply
Keith Yockey April 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm

The flat tax you are advocating exempts Sales Tax, both State and Local.

Reply
SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Talk to me about it after you get rid of all the special breaks and exemptions and all the local options sales taxes. The same rate for everyone.

The Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot collect taxes on those outside their borders. So don’t call us cheaters.

Reply
Fee Tax same thing April 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm

it will only hurt if you shop online. Stick to yard sales and you’re golden.

Reply
Fee Tax same thing April 23, 2013 at 3:31 pm

it will only hurt if you shop online. Stick to yard sales and you’re golden.

Reply
9" April 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

No big deal.What is a big deal are the postal rates for small businesses shipping internationally.Shipping an 8 oz package overseas has gone from roughly ,five dollars to fifteen…

Reply
9" April 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

No big deal.What is a big deal are the postal rates for small businesses shipping internationally.Shipping an 8 oz package overseas has gone from roughly ,five dollars to fifteen…

Reply
BigT April 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Obama LOVES Taxes.
The Only Way top Stop it. We need the Senate..and the House…..
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN

Reply
Smirks April 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Good little tool.

Reply
dwb619 April 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Did you mean to use the “t” , or hit it by mistake when wanting the “f”?

Reply
Ken E. April 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hmmm, I wonder who is the main sponsor of this bill? Wait, is it Sen. Mike Enzi? A Republican? You’re an idiot, BigT.

Reply
Keith Yockey April 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Nice try. (R) Governors support the bill. States include SC GA FL NJ IN OH TN OK TX and others.

Reply
BigT April 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Obama LOVES Taxes.
The Only Way top Stop it. We need the Senate..and the House…..
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN
VOTE REPUBLICAN

Reply
Smirks April 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Good little tool.

Reply
dwb619 April 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Did you mean to use the “t” , or hit it by mistake when wanting the “f”?

Reply
Ken E. April 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

Hmmm, I wonder who is the main sponsor of this bill? Wait, is it Sen. Mike Enzi? A Republican? You’re an idiot, BigT.

Reply
Keith Yockey April 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Nice try. (R) Governors support the bill. States include SC GA FL NJ IN OH TN OK TX and others.

Reply
darksied calling April 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

very rarely buy on line but when i have i will admit i have enjoyed the thought that i was saving $$ vs buying at a brick and mortar store plus 8% (state/county sales tax for Florence). IMO the next step after this will be a national sales tax…anything that nig**r in the wh supports i’m against.

Reply
Smirks April 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Sir, you dropped your pointy white hat. Also, national sales tax is regressive and touted by many Republicans.

Reply
darksied calling April 23, 2013 at 3:45 pm

very rarely buy on line but when i have i will admit i have enjoyed the thought that i was saving $$ vs buying at a brick and mortar store plus 8% (state/county sales tax for Florence). IMO the next step after this will be a national sales tax…anything that nig**r in the wh supports i’m against.

Reply
Smirks April 23, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Sir, you dropped your pointy white hat. Also, national sales tax is regressive and touted by many Republicans.

Reply
Yelsewh April 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm

As others have mentioned it is not a tax hike but a measure to prevent people from continuing to cheat on their taxes.

Reply
SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm

The Supreme Court ruled that the states cannot collect taxes on business which are not located there.

Reply
Yelsewh April 23, 2013 at 3:51 pm

As others have mentioned it is not a tax hike but a measure to prevent people from continuing to cheat on their taxes.

Reply
SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm

The Supreme Court ruled that the states cannot collect taxes on business which are not located there.

Reply
Bob Sacamanto April 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

The problem is “WHO” has to pay the taxes, i.e. who actually has to handle and forward any tax revenue to all the various state and local governments that want it. As in, how does some small niche website selling widgets keep up with how much it owes to dozens of different jurisdictions, file it all, etc…and still be able to afford to do business. Whereas the “brick and mortar” store ponies up to only one govt.

I’m not saying there’s not a potential tech solution here, (some kind of a sales tax “plugin” on a browser maybe that would automatically collect the “skim” for the represented governments”, but it hasn’t presented itself yet. Meanwhile, this will put a damper on budding small online retailers.

And let’s not forget the principle of “no taxation, without representation”…as in, those online retailers don’t have representation in the governments that wants them to collect taxes for them.

Reply
Bob Sacamanto April 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm

The problem is “WHO” has to pay the taxes, i.e. who actually has to handle and forward any tax revenue to all the various state and local governments that want it. As in, how does some small niche website selling widgets keep up with how much it owes to dozens of different jurisdictions, file it all, etc…and still be able to afford to do business. Whereas the “brick and mortar” store ponies up to only one govt.

I’m not saying there’s not a potential tech solution here, (some kind of a sales tax “plugin” on a browser maybe that would automatically collect the “skim” for the represented governments”, but it hasn’t presented itself yet. Meanwhile, this will put a damper on budding small online retailers.

And let’s not forget the principle of “no taxation, without representation”…as in, those online retailers don’t have representation in the governments that wants them to collect taxes for them.

Reply
BigT April 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Thank GOD for a Republican House.
We’ll stop it there. Like we have to stop all of the Crap Obama is trying to Kill the American Family with…..
Will any democrats now admit Obama is a BIG LIAR when he said he woulod not raise taxes…

Reply
BigT April 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Thank GOD for a Republican House.
We’ll stop it there. Like we have to stop all of the Crap Obama is trying to Kill the American Family with…..
Will any democrats now admit Obama is a BIG LIAR when he said he woulod not raise taxes…

Reply
Moman50 April 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I thought you Republicans support sales taxes?Dont you call them “fair” taxes?

Reply
Moman50 April 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I thought you Republicans support sales taxes?Dont you call them “fair” taxes?

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm

My God can FITS incompetence get any greater??? Surely even your mediocre high school intern writers could spend more than 30 seconds on this collection of shallow personal opinions. How about even a teensy weensy identification of issues, like difference/adv/disadvantage, between brick and mortar, small biz, giant corp, etc. Or how about the Dems and Repubs that published a letter opposing? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324493704578432961601644942.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

http://www.ayotte.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=921

Too hard? Then…..

Never mind the GIANT GIANT issue that a competent ELECTRONIC MEDIA organization concerned about individual liberty like freedom of speech and the press, would at least, mention – CISPA, and the HUMUNGOUS attack on our last hope for publishing truth, electronic media.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/04/us-house-representatives-shamefully-passes-cispa-internet-freedom-advocates

washttp://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/04/anonymous-organizes-blackout-over-cispa-tech-companies-dont-care

Oh yeah, I said competent. That explains it.

Reply
dwb619 April 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm

SHAZAAM!!!!!!!!

Reply
katlaurenscounty April 23, 2013 at 6:28 pm

My God can FITS incompetence get any greater??? Surely even your mediocre high school intern writers could spend more than 30 seconds on this collection of shallow personal opinions. How about even a teensy weensy identification of issues, like difference/adv/disadvantage, between brick and mortar, small biz, giant corp, etc. Or how about the Dems and Repubs that published a letter opposing? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324493704578432961601644942.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

http://www.ayotte.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=921

Too hard? Then…..

Never mind the GIANT GIANT issue that a competent ELECTRONIC MEDIA organization concerned about individual liberty like freedom of speech and the press, would at least, mention – CISPA, and the HUMUNGOUS attack on our last hope for publishing truth, electronic media.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/04/us-house-representatives-shamefully-passes-cispa-internet-freedom-advocates

washttp://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/04/anonymous-organizes-blackout-over-cispa-tech-companies-dont-care

Oh yeah, I said competent. That explains it.

Reply
dwb619 April 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm

SHAZAAM!!!!!!!!

Reply
cuvinny April 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm

As someone who buys almost everything but groceries online, avoiding paying sell tax (because who actually fills in that line in the SC1040) has hurt small business more then Obamacare ever will.

Reply
cuvinny April 23, 2013 at 9:19 pm

As someone who buys almost everything but groceries online, avoiding paying sell tax (because who actually fills in that line in the SC1040) has hurt small business more then Obamacare ever will.

Reply
Smirks April 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Again, why do we have to filibuster every goddamn bill like a cowardly douchebag? Bring it up, debate it, and vote accordingly. You are cheering the abuse and overuse of the filibuster, watering its purpose down to nothing more than a fly swatter.

And of course if the tables ever turned and Democrats constantly filibustered every bill that looked at them funny, you’d be screaming bloody murder.

Reply
Smirks April 23, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Again, why do we have to filibuster every goddamn bill like a cowardly douchebag? Bring it up, debate it, and vote accordingly. You are cheering the abuse and overuse of the filibuster, watering its purpose down to nothing more than a fly swatter.

And of course if the tables ever turned and Democrats constantly filibustered every bill that looked at them funny, you’d be screaming bloody murder.

Reply
vicupstate April 24, 2013 at 5:55 am

If an online retailer is exempt from paying or collecting taxes that a storefront retailer is required to pay/collect, isn’t that the government ‘picking winners and losers in the marketplace’?

Reply
Ken E. April 24, 2013 at 11:50 am

Yeah, I thought FITS was against this sort of thing. But I guess it’s only in the case of paying taxes that people actually owe. And yes, I was a good boy and paid my Use taxes, as I am a prolific Amazon shopper.

Reply
vicupstate April 24, 2013 at 5:55 am

If an online retailer is exempt from paying or collecting taxes that a storefront retailer is required to pay/collect, isn’t that the government ‘picking winners and losers in the marketplace’?

Reply
Ken E. April 24, 2013 at 11:50 am

Yeah, I thought FITS was against this sort of thing. But I guess it’s only in the case of paying taxes that people actually owe. And yes, I was a good boy and paid my Use taxes, as I am a prolific Amazon shopper.

Reply
CorruptionInColumbia April 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I was listening to one of the local stations yesterday and two of their regulars were talking about this. One, who claimed to normally be conservative, was for it. His “reasoning” was that people being able to avoid paying taxes on internet transactions was unfairly competitive with local businesses who by law, must collect sales taxes. He wants us taxed on internet sales to protect local stores.

I couldn’t help but wonder if he also has fought against things like Limewire, Napster, and I-tunes, because they were unfair to record stores. Time changes and so does technology and business. Yeah, I kind of miss the old record stores that used to be in the malls, but we don’t use vinyl, 8-tracks, or cassette, tapes anymore.

Reply
CorruptionInColumbia April 24, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I was listening to one of the local stations yesterday and two of their regulars were talking about this. One, who claimed to normally be conservative, was for it. His “reasoning” was that people being able to avoid paying taxes on internet transactions was unfairly competitive with local businesses who by law, must collect sales taxes. He wants us taxed on internet sales to protect local stores.

I couldn’t help but wonder if he also has fought against things like Limewire, Napster, and I-tunes, because they were unfair to record stores. Time changes and so does technology and business. Yeah, I kind of miss the old record stores that used to be in the malls, but we don’t use vinyl, 8-tracks, or cassette, tapes anymore.

Reply
Keith Yockey April 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm

You buy online, you owe Use Tax, it’s been the State law here in SC for over 80 years. I know, I’m an online sell in Greenville County. Why do so few know this law exists? Blame SC DOR. They have done nothing to educate the public or actively enforce existing law. Worse is that as local look for more revenue, they pass laws to increase Sales tax for this that or the other. To date, there are over 150 Tax districts in SC and none are defined by zip code. Take Myrtle Beach for example, as they have a 3% tourism tax. Problem is, the city is divided by 3 zip codes; for an in-state sale, this buyer w a MB zip oews 6% and another resident owes 9%. Does SC DOR or MB have software to figure the correct tax? Of course not.

Enter now the national scene, and now there are over 9000 tax districts, and even more exemptions. This will be a compliance cost nightmare; a lot more complicated than dealing w SC DOR

Ask a business pushing for this Bill how many Sales Tax forms they fill out? (A: 1) Next, ask them how they would feel if they needed to fill out 45?

I rest my case.

FWIW, Graham is a co-sponsor of the Bill, and yes, he will vote for it.

Reply
Keith Yockey April 24, 2013 at 3:52 pm

You buy online, you owe Use Tax, it’s been the State law here in SC for over 80 years. I know, I’m an online sell in Greenville County. Why do so few know this law exists? Blame SC DOR. They have done nothing to educate the public or actively enforce existing law. Worse is that as local look for more revenue, they pass laws to increase Sales tax for this that or the other. To date, there are over 150 Tax districts in SC and none are defined by zip code. Take Myrtle Beach for example, as they have a 3% tourism tax. Problem is, the city is divided by 3 zip codes; for an in-state sale, this buyer w a MB zip oews 6% and another resident owes 9%. Does SC DOR or MB have software to figure the correct tax? Of course not.

Enter now the national scene, and now there are over 9000 tax districts, and even more exemptions. This will be a compliance cost nightmare; a lot more complicated than dealing w SC DOR

Ask a business pushing for this Bill how many Sales Tax forms they fill out? (A: 1) Next, ask them how they would feel if they needed to fill out 45?

I rest my case.

FWIW, Graham is a co-sponsor of the Bill, and yes, he will vote for it.

Reply
jwebsc April 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I am faxing this copy to both Senators Graham & Scott tonight: The votes in the Senate are taking place tomorrow and possibly Saturday. I believe this has to be stopped in its present form if possible. I hope others who agree with me will do the same.
———-
As a regular voter in South Carolina, I am writing to register the strongest objections possible to the so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act.”

A new Internet sales-tax regime that would empower state and local governments to wring revenues from businesses and individuals far outside their jurisdictions, is terribly misguided. It overturns the foundational American presumption against taxation without representation with the help of parasitical, old school business interests that seek to use the tax code to hobble more nimble online competitors.

This bill will not produce “Marketplace Fairness.” Old school brick and mortar stores only have to collect taxes for the jurisdictions in which they have a nexus, whereas online competitors would be required to compute and track sales tax for thousands of jurisdictions and submit them to the Departments of Revenue of each of the 50 states. That creates an unreasonable barrier for all but the largest online retailers in the country!

Historically, sales taxes have been imposed and collected at the point of sale by tax authorities with jurisdiction in that particular location. This arrangement has the important effect of making local tax authorities directly accountable for their decisions: If a township should impose an unreasonable sales-tax hike, then the local businesses to which that matters most have an opportunity to respond, either through the political process or by the expedient of packing up and moving to a new location with more reasonable taxes.

Particularly vexing is the fact that this bill, which would in effect grant global tax jurisdiction to each and every one of the thousands of local taxing authorities that exist in this country, cleared the Senate on the support of Republicans such as Wyoming’s Mike Enzi and Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander. Their solution is to enable a BONEHEADED SYSTEM of forcibly deputizing online retailers, from corporate giants such as Amazon to your uncle’s car-parts business, as tax collectors beholden to each and every one of the country’s 9,600 or so taxing jurisdictions.

With everybody taxing everybody else, the natural inclination of state and local tax authorities will be to seek uniformity across jurisdictions. Does anybody think that uniformity will gravitate toward the low-tax end of the spectrum? This bill in fact empowers local authorities to establish multijurisdictional “compacts” to homogenize tax rates and practices. In the private sector, that is called a price-fixing cartel, and it is, generally speaking, illegal.

Republicans thinking of backing this bill should be reminded that it is the role of the federal government to enable interstate commerce, not to facilitate an unholy alliance between big business and big government. There was a time when Republicans were clear on that. Senator Ron Wyden, a left-wing Democrat from Oregon, rightly called this bill “a targeted strike against the digital economy.” I wonder if it has occurred to the GOP that if it has any chance of recruiting new supporters from the younger generations, among whom it is notably lagging, then its best bet is likely to be among young entrepreneurs and small-business operators — traditional Republican constituencies that are very much attached to the online economy. If the Republican party cannot be counted on to be on the side of economic innovation and entrepreneurship, then what does it have to recommend itself?

It’s EXTREMELY UNFORTUNATE that so many Senate Republicans helped the grievously misnamed “Marketplace Fairness Act” get this far. This bill deserves to be publicly strangled IMMEDIATELY!!!

Reply
jwebsc April 25, 2013 at 11:30 pm

I am faxing this copy to both Senators Graham & Scott tonight: The votes in the Senate are taking place tomorrow and possibly Saturday. I believe this has to be stopped in its present form if possible. I hope others who agree with me will do the same.
———-
As a regular voter in South Carolina, I am writing to register the strongest objections possible to the so-called “Marketplace Fairness Act.”

A new Internet sales-tax regime that would empower state and local governments to wring revenues from businesses and individuals far outside their jurisdictions, is terribly misguided. It overturns the foundational American presumption against taxation without representation with the help of parasitical, old school business interests that seek to use the tax code to hobble more nimble online competitors.

This bill will not produce “Marketplace Fairness.” Old school brick and mortar stores only have to collect taxes for the jurisdictions in which they have a nexus, whereas online competitors would be required to compute and track sales tax for thousands of jurisdictions and submit them to the Departments of Revenue of each of the 50 states. That creates an unreasonable barrier for all but the largest online retailers in the country!

Historically, sales taxes have been imposed and collected at the point of sale by tax authorities with jurisdiction in that particular location. This arrangement has the important effect of making local tax authorities directly accountable for their decisions: If a township should impose an unreasonable sales-tax hike, then the local businesses to which that matters most have an opportunity to respond, either through the political process or by the expedient of packing up and moving to a new location with more reasonable taxes.

Particularly vexing is the fact that this bill, which would in effect grant global tax jurisdiction to each and every one of the thousands of local taxing authorities that exist in this country, cleared the Senate on the support of Republicans such as Wyoming’s Mike Enzi and Tennessee’s Lamar Alexander. Their solution is to enable a BONEHEADED SYSTEM of forcibly deputizing online retailers, from corporate giants such as Amazon to your uncle’s car-parts business, as tax collectors beholden to each and every one of the country’s 9,600 or so taxing jurisdictions.

With everybody taxing everybody else, the natural inclination of state and local tax authorities will be to seek uniformity across jurisdictions. Does anybody think that uniformity will gravitate toward the low-tax end of the spectrum? This bill in fact empowers local authorities to establish multijurisdictional “compacts” to homogenize tax rates and practices. In the private sector, that is called a price-fixing cartel, and it is, generally speaking, illegal.

Republicans thinking of backing this bill should be reminded that it is the role of the federal government to enable interstate commerce, not to facilitate an unholy alliance between big business and big government. There was a time when Republicans were clear on that. Senator Ron Wyden, a left-wing Democrat from Oregon, rightly called this bill “a targeted strike against the digital economy.” I wonder if it has occurred to the GOP that if it has any chance of recruiting new supporters from the younger generations, among whom it is notably lagging, then its best bet is likely to be among young entrepreneurs and small-business operators — traditional Republican constituencies that are very much attached to the online economy. If the Republican party cannot be counted on to be on the side of economic innovation and entrepreneurship, then what does it have to recommend itself?

It’s EXTREMELY UNFORTUNATE that so many Senate Republicans helped the grievously misnamed “Marketplace Fairness Act” get this far. This bill deserves to be publicly strangled IMMEDIATELY!!!

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Raymond April 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I pay the use tax. What’s changing is that online retailers will become the unpaid tax collectors for every state instead of just the state in which they operate.

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Raymond April 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I pay the use tax. What’s changing is that online retailers will become the unpaid tax collectors for every state instead of just the state in which they operate.

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SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:14 pm

If the object is just to collect sales taxes which are actually due ( not use taxes on a garage sale of goods already taxed ), then tax them at the point of shipping, or where the internet business is located.

The reason the states don’t want that, is because businesses will move out of oppressive states and into more business-friendly ones. They will move from places with multiple layers of “local option” and “hospitality” taxes, like Columbia, to smaller towns.

And it is too simple. Government like complexity and confusion, because it gives them control through intimidation.

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SCPatriot April 28, 2013 at 6:14 pm

If the object is just to collect sales taxes which are actually due ( not use taxes on a garage sale of goods already taxed ), then tax them at the point of shipping, or where the internet business is located.

The reason the states don’t want that, is because businesses will move out of oppressive states and into more business-friendly ones. They will move from places with multiple layers of “local option” and “hospitality” taxes, like Columbia, to smaller towns.

And it is too simple. Government like complexity and confusion, because it gives them control through intimidation.

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SCPatriot April 29, 2013 at 8:37 am

The next step is international taxes on the Internet, by the UN.

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SCPatriot April 29, 2013 at 8:37 am

The next step is international taxes on the Internet, by the UN.

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