Senate to vote on proposed Internet s...

Senate to vote on proposed Internet sales tax law

There are 1 comment on the WPTZ-TV Plattsburgh story from May 5, 2013, titled Senate to vote on proposed Internet sales tax law. In it, WPTZ-TV Plattsburgh reports that:

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a long-debated Internet sales tax law Monday, paving the way for millions of consumers to start paying sales tax on online purchases.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WPTZ-TV Plattsburgh.

Bruce Hahn

Sterling, VA

#1 May 5, 2013
This issue is about the consumers who will be paying the tax, not fairness, eBay or small businesses. There was no Internet when states enacted sales tax laws long ago, and few states have since held a vote on whether sales taxes should be applied to Internet purchases. A survey by Parade Magazine revealed that 85% of Americans are opposed to sales taxes on ANY Internet purchases. With far less public opposition to other tax revenue alternatives, such as increasing sin taxes and or income tax increases on millionaires, why do Congress and state legislators need to connive to expand the collection of a tax that the people who elected them don’t want?

Expanding Internet sales tax collection is also terrible public policy. Hard-pressed consumers in today’s economy increasingly buy more used products on the Internet from each other and small home-based businesses in order to save money. A lot of serviceable used products avoid the landfill when purchased by consumers who can't afford the buy them new from any source. Leaving your car in the driveway when you shop online also reduces air pollution. The products will be delivered by the U.S. postal carriers, UPS and FedEx trucks that go through our neighborhoods every day anyway. The reduced demand for gasoline helps keep gas prices lower, and the reduced driving helps state and local governments save money on transportation infrastructure expansion and maintenance.

Wal-Mart and other big box retailers have been driving small main street retailers out of business for years, and this law would help them accelerate the process. The other main beneficiaries of expanded Internet sales tax collection are the shopping center owners. Their business model is becoming obsolete. Many have already been repurposed as consumers increasingly embrace ecommerce, and more will follow.

This proposal would most hurt consumers who can’t afford new products. There are many good reasons for conservative republicans and liberal democrats to unite and trash this proposal.

Bruce Hahn
American Homeowners Grassroots Alliance

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