Strapped States Re-Examine Online Sales Taxes

from the yet-again dept

Once again, state governments that are desperate for money are greedily eyeing the internet to see how they can tax it. The article mostly focuses on California, and their need for cash. Isn’t it amusing that instead of trying to clean up the state’s messy bureaucracy, they instead are just looking to suck more money out of anything they can tax? The article also points out that California rejected this plan a few years ago because they were afraid that it would “send the wrong message” to the emerging internet industry. So, now that the internet industry has been destroyed, and people are trying to save up money while they hunt for jobs, it’s the right time to impose another tax? The article does mention that some states are working on a “standardized” state sales tax plan to make it easier for internet retailers to calculate local taxes. I would imagine that, as the states become more desperate for money, they’re much more likely to join in on such a plan.

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Comments on “Strapped States Re-Examine Online Sales Taxes”

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Bryan Price says:

Where will this all end though?

Yeah, the states might be satisfied with a standardized sales tax rate, but what about the local governments that also depend on sales tax revenue? Cincinnati Ohio and surrounds with their .25% (or is it .5%) to pay for the Bungle’s, er, Bengal’s new stadium?

Or here locally, where we have the Greater Jacksonville Plan with it’s .5% increase in sales tax, and now the schools in this county are screaming for their own .5% sales tax increase. No income tax here, so they can’t go that route. I’m just not too sure that I want to be paying 7.5% sales tax.

Anonymous Coward says:

No Subject Given

Not necessarily opposed to a tax as long as it’s determined ‘fairly’ and in a uncomplicated manner. Fairly ? Well, I don’t feel I should have to pay the same rate I pay in state tax. Why ? Well, even though shopping over the internet does suck up some state resources (road use, vehicle inspections, etc), they don’t need the Fire Marshal’s and City Sewer etc.

Maybe half of my state tax ?

I figure it will happen regardless … will be interested to see what logic the govt uses to come to whatever conclusion it comes to.

Steve says:

Round and round we go

I love when this debate is presented that the internet is some how getting through this great loophole that no one else does. Hello, the catalog & mail order industry has been essentially tax free for years–of course it’s easier to pick on internet sales because so many people are still afraid of it.

What costs do the states pay for the internet? Investigating spammers (which they don’t do enough of) is a completely separate issue from legitimate companies selling goods & services online. Consumer protection is an expense in and of itself and whether it occurs online, over the telephone, mail or bricks and mortar is really irrelevant. When I order something online, I pay shipping to Fed Ex or whoever. Roads? Fed Ex pays fees to register & license their vehicles and the Feds pay a big chunk of highway money as well.

And none of it matters because the big companies will just move their headquarters to a state that doesn’t have sales tax or offshore to a nation that doesn’t.

But none of that really gets me that mad–if they figure out a way to charge sales tax so be it. What really annoys me is that it’s just a money grab. Instead of realizing that they spent too much money and that’s why the states have deficits, they just decide to try and raise taxes. I can’t adjust my income to match my spending what makes governments think that they should be able to operate that way. Figure out what an acceptible tax rate is and what tax revenue that will enerate in an average year, then only spend that much. Some years if the economy is slow, revenues will be lower, other times when things are good, revenues will be higher. Simple.

Doug says:

Two birds with one stone?

Tax spammers!

That should reduce spam, increase tax revenues, and give the state governments incentive to track down spammers. And good citizens like me could do our civic duty by forwarding all of the spam we receive to the Spam Tax Bureau. Mmmm, that sounds so satisfying!

Erm, I suppose the tax would have to be levied by the receiving state.

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