|Where's the Consumer in this fight?|
As State governments look in very nook-and-cranny for revenue to fund, in most cases, overspending on pork projects and bureaucratic bloat the notion of taxing every single online sale is extremely tempting.
Under the guise of 'protecting the brick-and-mortar' businesses within their State - local governments are hell-bent on collecting sales tax on online transactions. Now, everyone knows that internet retail sales have risen dramatically over the last decade, but they still represent only a fraction of all retail sales, and in-store sales have risen as well over the same period.
Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court struggled to decide on the matter as to whether internet retailers should have to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence.The States argued that they are losing tens of billions of dollars under a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that helped spur the rise of internet shopping.
At the end of the day, however, it was not clear whether there were five votes to overrule the '92 decision - which bars States from collecting sales taxes from companies "that do not have a substantial connection to the State."
Several of the Justices expressed concerns about imposing crushing burdens on small businesses that sell goods on the internet and about making them pay BACK taxes. Justice Sotomayor stated the the case "raised a host of questions and a whole new set of difficulties", and "that the Congress and not the Supreme Court was the right forum in which to settle the matter."
Both Justices Roberts and Kagan noted that as Congress has so far chosen not to act was itself a telling indication that it was satisfied with the current system. There was a lot of banter between the attorneys representing both sides; however, I believe the Justices are looking at the wrong side of the issue.
It is not a question of how much of a burden would be put on the retailers to collect the taxes but the huge monetary burden that would be put on the consumer and once allowed, as we are all fully aware, the sales tax would continue to rise. In many States, the sales tax is 8% and higher. That's 8% more for, pretty much, everything purchased - from clothing to restaurant meals.
The burden is completely shifted to the consumer from the retailer, as the cost of collection of the tax will be added to the price of the product. If a retailer is in such desperate shape that a sales tax will make or break them, they should probably be out of business anyway! Why is it always the consumer that has to carry the burden?
I would like to ask you to give me your vote on this issue. Yes, if you are in favor of taxing all internet purchases. No, if you are against it.
Again, the issue in question isn't about the burden on the retailers to collect the tax , BUT THE FINANCIAL BURDEN ON ALL OF US - THE CONSUMERS!