Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Internet Sales Coming To a State Near You

While we are all focused on the Boston Islamic Terrorist bombings (yes that's right, Islamic Terrorist), Harry Reid has been trying to push an internet sale tax bill through the Senate.

From the WSJ:

As early as Monday, the Senate will vote on a bill that was introduced only last Tuesday. The text of this legislation, which would fundamentally change interstate commerce, only became available on the Library of Congress website over the weekend.
For Senators curious about what they're voting on, it is the same flawed proposal that Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.) introduced in February. It has been repackaged to qualify for a Senate rule that allows Majority Leader Harry Reid to bypass committee debate and bring it straight to the floor.

Mr. Enzi's Marketplace Fairness Act discriminates against Internet-based businesses by imposing burdens that it does not apply to brick-and-mortar companies. For the first time, online merchants would be forced to collect sales taxes for all of America's estimated 9,600 state and local taxing authorities.  

Who's behind this rush to tax? Wal-Mart and other big retailers that can more easily absorb the costs of collection than can smaller competitors. 

That issue, however, is Wal-Mart is in every state in the union and operates brick and mortar store in those state and therefore are required to collect the sales tax for the state that they operate in and that you reside in.

Also supporting the bill is Internet giant Amazon, which coincidentally now sells its own tax compliance service to other merchants. Adding to the lobbying muscle are state and local governments. The politicians believe they'll collect tens of billions of dollars in taxes that are already owed by shoppers on remote sales but rarely paid.

 This rush to tax is an attempt to overturn the Supreme Court's 1992 decision in Quill v. North Dakota that forcing businesses to collect and remit taxes to jurisdictions where they have no physical presence was too big a burden. Though that ruling applied to catalogs in the pre-Internet age, it established an important principle of cross-state tax accountability.

And what does the White House say about this?:
Because these out-of-state companies are able to play by a different set of rules, this disparity undermines the ability of cities and States to invest in K-12 education, police and fire protection, access to affordable health care, and funding for roads and bridges. 

There's that word again, "Invest". Well obviously the White House has forgotten that funding for K-12 education and police and fire protection come from property taxes most of the time. Affordable health care has been rammed down our throats and paid for by working Americans from Obamacare (So they said) and roads and bridges are paid for by tolls and fuel taxation. So this is a lame, dumbass excuse.

Regardless of how you might feel about this, there is one thing to keep in mind.... That is, Article 1, Section 9 of the US Constitution, which states:

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

One may wonder that this only applies to the US Congress.
Well, if you consider that the SCOTUS as ruled many times on the 1st Amendment and the right to freedom of religion, as in their Lemon Test  ruling and that local and state government displaying of a nativity scenes, for example, as an establishment, by government, of religion, then it should apply here. In all essence, Congress has been interpreted to mean government at any level.

Lastly, some will argue that since you are in one state, the merchant is in another state, once you click submit, that sale commenced with in the boundaries of the state.
However, the transaction actually takes place on the sever and if that server is in another state for which the merchant has a brick & mortar, that's where the sale took place.

This is really a no brainer, and each and everyone of you should demand that Congress needs to standby Article 1; Sec 9 of the Constitution!

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