The Internet has grown exponentially before our very eyes. It is hard to believe that wide-spread usage only began 17-18 years ago and even harder to believe that we could function without it.
The Internet has altered how news works, how totalitarian countries operate, how we communicate, and how we shop, changing every facet of our lives.
The government is slow to change and people are slow to change. However, it is time for the government to institute an Internet sales tax.
The current practice is just not fair to our brick and mortar hometown businesses who must charge sales tax.
Exempting Internet sales gives Internet companies an unfair competitive advantage in so many ways, resulting in lower prices, particularly on high ticket or electronic items. Hometown businesses collect the taxes that fund our local schools, city, county and state.
In addition, the hometown business buys discount cards for student athletes, eat at the chili feed and make donations. The Internet business does none of those things at the local level. Many businesses are contacted at least weekly by people they’ve never seen before or after, asking for donations.
As far as shipping, the hometown business has already paid to have it shipped to the store. They have to pay a sales staff to sell the product while Internet businesses can run with fewer employees because they don’t have to maintain an attractive business.
It addition, there is a practice called showrooming, where customers go to a hometown store, find the product and learn from the employees expertise, then buy the product more cheaply online. This is a good way to put your hometown store out of business and is stealing an employee’s valuable time.
Our state collections of sales tax would be higher, greatly impacting collected revenue.
Furthermore, as a hometown business, don’t ever be even late one day on sales tax payments or it could result in the loss of your business. The state will not reason with you.
Internet sales tax would only even the playing field.