14 March 2011

The time has come to allow states to collect sales tax on internet commerce

I am a "Prime" Amazon.com customer. I buy a lot of stuff from them; and not just books. 

The convenience is amazing. BUT, while the tax holiday of not having to pay sales tax for stuff bought through this and other commercial websites that carefully manage their properties to avoid having to charge sales tax in big states like California may be attractive, I have come to the conclusion that this situation is untenable.

See this article. I am in favor of allowing states to collect sales tax on all internet purchases for delivery to customers in-state. It's the only thing that really makes sense, and with states having moderate to severe (Calif. = severe, of course) budget problems, now is the time to change this policy.

Technically, consumers are responsible to keep track of "out of state" purchases and pay use tax on their state income tax returns, but few do.

We need to return in this country to a popular recognition that taxes are the price of civilization. The policymakers could certainly help by doing a better job of managing expenditures for the public good, but the Rightist-propaganda influenced and now unbelievably pervasive idea that all taxes are bad, and should be avoided, evaded, and reduced wherever possible, has wrought a great deal of destruction in our society and needs to change.

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