It’s time to adjust to changing times and to collect Internet sales tax. The U.S. House of Representatives is debating the issue today. The bill requiring collection of Internet sales tax has already passed the Senate.
No sales tax on Internet sales benefits few.
Our brick and mortar businesses are already at a disadvantage when it comes to sales. Not only do they have to collect sales tax, they have to maintain a show room that is appropriate for customers versus a warehouse, incurring cleaning and decorating costs as well as a sales staff that may or may not be busy.
Some people do move to the Internet to avoid taxation because it gives them an approximately 4-11 percent price percentage, depending upon local tax rates.
Some individual states are beginning to pass such bills requiring the collection. This is a good thing and something for the Kansas legislature to consider.
No Internet sales tax undermines state and local governments by reducing tax revenue for schools, police and other services. A University of Tennessee study estimated that uncollected sales on e-commerce cost state $7.7 billion in 2008, a number that has continued to grow.
Of course online retailers oppose the bill. They would have to collect tax and remit it and could possibly loose customers to brick and mortar businesses. However, some online retailers that also have a brick and mortar are already required to collect sales tax and are managing the complexity. With the complex software being written today that can track the websites a user visits to target advertising, a software program managing different tax rates ought to be doable.
The tax system was passed in 1992 when Internet was in its infancy, few were using it and most people were not connected. There has been a complete turnaround.
The current system is regressive taxation of poor and elderly who are the people least likely to make Internet purchases.
The playing field should be leveled. Everyone should do their part.
Karen La Pierre