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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Internet Sales Tax bill

FT reports Republicans will not let the Internet Sales Tax bill pass this session of Congress.

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"Marketplace Fairness" is the cynically coined title  of a bill that denies fairness and manipulates the  market.

Markets need to be free, not encumbered by price and  quota loopholes devised by a greedy, economically illiterate government.   Sales tax is imposed by most states at the cash  register.  If the cash register is in another state,  they cannot impose or collect sales tax.  That is  NOT a loophole.  That's fairness.

By renaming "Sales Tax" as "Sales and Use Tax" they  try to assert that the tax is due from the consumer well  separated and apart from the cash register.  It's  crooked.
Where I live, the state sales tax is 9.75% until  last year when the county added 2% sales tax to  food.  I'm not talking fine upscale restaurant food.  I'm talking bread, milk, baby formula, vitamins,  cough drops, rice, flour, beans, your family's  GROCERIES!

Sales Tax is justified if at all by the  infrastructure, services, and facilities furnished by  the local government.  That means that the brick and  mortar retailers in town get:  Police and fire  services, meat, kitchen, elevator, deli scale,  building, fire marshal inspections, courts, prosecutors, public defenders, jails, and probation  officers to identify, apprehend, detain, try,  incarcerate, and rehabilitate offenders who  shoplift, embezzle, steal, purse grab, armed rob the  retailer or his customers.  It enables street  cleaning, pothole repair, sewers, water supply,  traffic signals, snow removal, accident response and  ambulance service, tornado sirens, early disaster  responders, and on and on.  All very expensive services for the benefit and protection of the  local retailers.   Not one of those benefits accrue to the  interests of the out-of-state merchant.  None,  bubkis, nada, zilch, zero!  "Marketplace Fairness?"   I think not.

Doctors, lawyers, chiropractors, accountants,  therapists, UPS, FedEx, the post office, storage  spaces, veterinarians (except for pet food) are not  required to collect sales tax, and we users of those  services are not required to tally and pay tax for  their use.  
We consumers-tax payers have been struggling more  and more every pay period to make our ends meet  since 2008.  Internet merchants enable us to find  bargains and broaden our choices.  It is a trade off:  We have to pay  shipping.  The state tax authority will want sales  tax on the shipping, you can depend upon it. Each  state, I suggest will need to hire two additional  people, with offices, parking spaces, and generous  benefits to administer the sales tax collections  from each of the 50 states and several territories  subject to US law.  That's 50 times 50 more tax  collectors!  They want every resident to file a  Sales & Use Tax Return?  An army of new auditors on our state's payrolls making government yet even that  much bigger than the productive working sector.  How  are they going to deal with creative merchants who  take their fulfillment to Canada, Mexico, France,  Hong Kong, or Antigua?

What about the five states that have NO sales tax?   Is my state going to put 11.75% sales tax on any  maple syrup I bring in from New Hampshire, crab legs  from Delaware, rocky mountain oysters from Montana,  or granola from Oregon.  "Fairness?"  Hardly.  It is favoritism paid off to the legislators with billions  for new spending.  That's what it is--a sweetheart  deal!   The mobsters in Brooklyn were less rapacious as this. 

This proposal is an unmitigated outrage and insult  to the taxpayers and consumers of this entire  nation.  How Senator Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker,  and other Republican senators could support this  just shows how badly we need Tea Party, low tax,  shrink government leaders now.  These "Marketplace  Fairness" Republicans are sellouts with no right to  our vote.

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