buckworks - 9:13 pm on Mar 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
go after internet sales tax and punish the people trying to earn a living
There's nothing intrinsically wrong with governments wanting to tax an online purchase the same as a brick-and-mortar transaction would be taxed for selling the same item in person.
I'm not against the idea of ecommerce taxation, but wow, the state-by-state mishmash that is evolving is just nuts. Nuts!
Why can't the states get together and make some common-sense decisions about consistent ways to apply sales taxes to out-of-state sales (could be online sales, phone sales, mail order, etc.).
The problem for online retailers would not be the fact of taxation per se, it's the dumb way some taxes are being applied and the crazy-making patchwork quilt of regulations and rates they have to deal with.
Re "punish the people trying to earn a living": Many local brick-and-mortar retailers would argue that the present situation is what's punishing them. The fact that online transactions so often escape sales taxes creates a disadvantage of several percentage points for local retailers who must charge sales taxes on every transaction. That disadvantage is entirely artificial.