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United States The Almighty Buck

Ban On Internet Sales Tax Ends Saturday 192

donnyspi writes "As reported in the Rocky Mountain News, among other places, the 5 year ban on collecting sales tax on purchases over the internet is scheduled to end Saturday. 'The original moratorium was established in 1998, renewed in 2001 and is set to expire Saturday. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill in September that would expand the ban and make it permanent. Similar legislation hasn't yet been voted on in the Senate.'
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Ban On Internet Sales Tax Ends Saturday

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  • by llamaluvr ( 575102 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @06:52PM (#7323666) Journal
    I bought it over the internet, obviously, and they still added $80-odd to my bill for sales tax. If the ban wasn't over yet, how come sales tax applied to my purchase?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You probably live in a state where Dell has a physical presence. If you didn't, that's where the question of Internet taxation would apply.
      • Dell's home sales is considered a separate entity from their business sales. Their home store only sells online and over the phone. So they only charge sales tax in TX and maybe one or two other states. Dell's business store does charge sales tax everywhere because they have a physical presence in more states. They have lots of local sales reps for doing business sales. One of the proposed tax laws would do away with that loophole and force companies like Dell to collect sales tax in any state where they do
    • by blazer1024 ( 72405 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @06:56PM (#7323704)
      State sales tax laws are a bit weird.. IANAL, but from what I've researched on it, if a company has ANY physics presence in the state where you are purchasing an item, you must pay sales tax on that item, regardless of how you order it, or where you placed the order. What matters is your physical location.

      So it's quite possible that Dell has a physical location in the state where you live, and therefore you have to pay sales tax. If they do not have physical presence in your state, then you were inappropriately charged sales tax and you may be able to get it back.
      • That's a good point -

        Is anybody aware of which states have (or don't have) a Dell presence?

        FYI, I'm in Ohio.
        • by ennuiner ( 144711 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @07:49PM (#7324141) Homepage
          I had the [mis]fortune of working for Dell's consumer sales phonebank this summer. This was a constant source of annoyance for customers who wanted to buy at advertised prices. They understood shipping, but did not quite understand why we had to charge sales tax in states where we had a business presence. Unfortunately, Dell has sites in some big states like Texas and Florida, too. Anyway, the states where Dell has to charge the full sales tax are Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, and Oregon. If the machine has an on-site service contract, like desktop and some notebook systems, Dell charges tax on the value of the service contract in all states with sales tax. The contracts are handled by a third-party contractor, Banctec, so Dell isn't the company with the business presence in that case.
      • So it's quite possible that Dell has a physical location in the state where you live, and therefore you have to pay sales tax. If they do not have physical presence in your state, then you were inappropriately charged sales tax and you may be able to get it back.

        Getting slightly off topic, but I'm curious how manyoutfits on the 'net do this: If they charged you sales tax for a state they do not have a presence in, that can equate to fraud. Every once in awhile you hear people on the news charging illegal

      • Dell sells a lot computers to all levels of government. I would imagine they have offices in nearly all 50 states.
      • "but from what I've researched on it, if a company has ANY physics presence in the state where you are purchasing an item,"

        Since when has Dell been operating unlicesed nuclear accelerators in any state (let alone one specific state)? And why can't I buy them from Dell's website?
    • Because it isn't really a sales tax ban. If you have a physical presence in the state, you are still required to collect sales tax. Only interstate purchases are exempt, because of the difficulty in complying with all of the different sales taxes laws.
    • All of Dell's small business purchases have sales tax added to them.
    • Possibly because Dell has a physical presence in your state -- I seem to recall hearing that as a requirement for charging sales tax.
    • From The electronic commerce association [theeca.org]The Supreme Court blocked the states in Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298 (1992). In Quill, the Supreme Court held that, because state sales and use taxes are so complicated, a state cannot require a remote seller to collect sales or use taxes unless the seller has a physical presence, or "nexus," in the state.
    • Adding on to the other posts, if Dell has any form of physical presence in your state, you have to pay sales tax. Whether its an actual Dell Store, or just a tiny kiosk in a mall somewhere, it doesn't matter.

      Such is life
    • i believe the bill bans taxes for collecting tax over the border. you got charged because it was a in-state purchase (Dell probably has a office in your state). however, if they have no office in my state and I order from them, they cant charge tax. basically collecting X state tax while the person is in the state of Y.
    • I've often wondered this too. Also I seems to apply only to full systems. I have ordered a variety of items from Dell (monitors, PDAs, memory cards of various kinds, etc) without tax but they always charge me sales tax on systems (desktops and laptops)
    • Having worked for the State of Alabama Department of Revenue, Sales and Use Tax Division, I might know a thing or two about this. The issue is NEXUS (Connection) and an issue of where the sale occurred.

      Generally the Law has held that the location of purchase is the point of Delivery of Title to the object. This might seem to be that when you get something in the mail or by freight currier that it was sold to you when you picked it up. This is not so. The issue is where did it become yours. If you paid

    • If you're in Texas as someone mentioned they will charge sales tax, and here in Tennessee they have several facilities as well (I think they build the Inspirons here), so you pay sales tax. When I purchased my iBook I paid sales tax too because there is an Apple store located on the other side of the state.
  • by Capt'n Hector ( 650760 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @06:53PM (#7323675)
    Can we ban charging for shipping too?
  • by kaleth ( 66639 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @06:54PM (#7323685)
    The ban that is about to expire is the one on taxing online services (such as ISP access). The "ban" on collecting sales tax over the internet is because of a law, but is the result of a court decision (which originally concerned catalog sales).
    • There's always some smartass that will pollute a good ol' FUD article with facts.
    • The Internet Tax Freedom Act [ecommercecommission.org]

      I always wondered what the "multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce" part of the law included.

      It kinda sounds like "we won't tax electronic commerce" to me.

      a) Moratorium.--No State or political subdivision thereof shall impose any of the following taxes during the period beginning on October 1, 1998, and ending 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act--

      (1) taxes on Internet access, unless such tax was generally imposed and actually enforced pri

      • It's always been my understanding of the law that it prevents taxes specific to the Internet. As in, you can't add an extra tax onto something just because it's an Internet/e-commerce purchase. It doesn't mean other taxes from the purchase (sales tax, use tax) aren't due on the item in question.
  • by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @06:55PM (#7323700) Homepage
    No one really ever has understood the law passed in 1998, evidently including the person who submitted the article. The tax ban was on internet *access*, not on internet sales tax collection. Ever notice that you DO pay sales tax if you buy something in the state you live? There's no ban, obviously - the problem is a jurisdictional one (interstate commerce, namely). In short - there has NEVER been a Congressional ban on collecting sales tax over the internet.

    If Congress wants to allow taxing of internet access by the states, they will now have the ability, though they probably won't. If they want to allow taxing of internet sales, they'll have to get around Supreme Court decisions that say states can't collect taxes on residents in other states. But the issues are NOT related, despite the frequency with which people screw this up.

    • Bravo. Mod parent up!

      I thought Dick Cheney promised that we need not worry about this problem!

      Cheney Just Says NO to Internet Taxes

      Vice President Dick Cheney recently stated that Congress should make the current law banning Internet access taxes permanent and extend the moratorium on any Internet sales taxes. President Bush, during his presidential campaign, had also called for an extension of this moratorium created by the 1998 Internet Tax Freedom Act. It is currently set to expire in October 2001.

    • Thank you, nicely put. This discussion should be closed now, and you can all go home.

      As an offtopic sidenote, THIS FIRE SUCKS. It hurts to breathe and my eyes are watery all the time. On the plus side, it makes for some bitchin' sunsets.

      I just got a new truck and I can't even wash the thing because the ash will turn to sludge and I'll just be rubbing the mud in (not to mention wasting water that firefighters need). Does anyone know if fire ash is acidic enough to ruin a new paint job?

    • If Congress wants to allow taxing of internet access by the states, they will now have the ability, though they probably won't.

      Actually, I think they will. The federal govervnment, along with most states and minicipalities, gets lots of money from the various Telecom taxes that are for "voice services."

      Now, if VOIP keeps being rated as a "data service," and people switch in mass from POTS to VOIP, then a huge revenue stream dries up. Government, like most people, doesn't like money going away, so they w

    • D-oh. I think I just posted a huge, stupid message. Gosh, I wish I could take it back.
    • "I always wondered what the "multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce" part of the law included.

      It kinda sounds like "we won't tax electronic commerce" to me.

      a) Moratorium.--No State or political subdivision thereof shall impose any of the following taxes during the period beginning on October 1, 1998, and ending 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act--

      (1) taxes on Internet access, unless such tax was generally imposed and actually enforced prior to October 1, 1998;
      • "I always wondered what the "multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce" part of the law included. It kinda sounds like "we won't tax electronic commerce" to me.

        Nope. I did a debate case on this in '98 or '99. The "discriminatory" bit means a tax that is applied to something on the internet that wouldn't be to the same thing not on the internet. For example, if someone made a 3% blanket tax on internet transactions IN ADDITION TO sales tax, that would be illegal. Or, if I made a 2% tax on

        • So a law taxing interstate sales ON THE INTERNET (whereas they are not taxed on any other medium) would be covered by the law.
          • So a law taxing interstate sales ON THE INTERNET (whereas they are not taxed on any other medium) would be covered by the law.

            That's covered by the Interstate Commerce Act and is illegal anyway. Now if they tried to tax internet without also doing catalog sales, maybe...but presumably, if they have a system for one, it will work for the other.

            • Not to mention it's explicitly forbidden in the Constitution.
              • Not to mention it's explicitly forbidden in the Constitution.

                Naturally. I'm even granting that they'll find a way around that, but it's a stretch. Perhaps the Feds will do the collecting, taking an amount from each purchase that is coincidentally what is required from the locality of the purchaser, then reimbursing the states?

                Of course, the Court's not obtuse, so the question is how much latitude they'll grant the Feds in doing something like that.

      • It kinda sounds like "we won't tax electronic commerce" to me.
        It may sound like that to you and me, but what really counts is how it sounds to the IRS lawyer who wants to prosecute you for not paying appropriate taxes.
    • Thank you - if someone else hadn't said it, I would have.

      So that I don't sound too snotty, I'll leave it at that.

    • they'll have to get around Supreme Court decisions that say states can't collect taxes on residents in other states


      If I drive across the border into the next state, can I pick up a plasma TV at Circuit City and not pay sales tax on it, if I show them my out-of-state driver's license?
      • If I drive across the border into the next state, can I pick up a plasma TV at Circuit City and not pay sales tax on it, if I show them my out-of-state driver's license?

        No, and you know what I meant. Amended, they can't collect taxes *in* other states. Present location of buyer is jurisdiction of tax.

  • by Davak ( 526912 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @06:56PM (#7323710) Homepage

    When mail order business was getting started, the traditional businesses and the government moaned and groaned about the lack of tax return... However, today nobody is looking to tax mail order. Why not?

    Mail order is been around far longer than the internet.

    The internet is a wonderful business model and vector. Let us not soil it with taxes just yet.

    Davak
    • Any attempt at a unified sales tax for the internet will get struck down in court. The constitution bans any taxes or levies on products that are imported from other states.
    • I know its an unpopular stance on /., but I really feel for the local brick and motar stores. They are the ones getting screwed.

      All stores should be on equal footing. If taxes make people shop locally more often then the internet, or mail order for that matter, isn't a viable sales medium.

      In an ideal world mail order, internet, and local items would be taxed equally. This should allow the overall tax rate to be lowered because more items are being taxed. Of course this would never happen but its nice
      • I disagree. The local brick and mortar stores have significant advantages over their online counterparts. Sales tax, with its current bias, helps level the playing field.

        People are more inclined to buy from local stores because they don't have to pay for shipping, they get instant gratification, and they can bring the product back in if they have problems. The shipping fee by itself makes up for any sales tax fees.

        I think if you taxed online merchants equal with the local stores, it would severely hamper
    • Most jurisdictions have a tax code that does tax mail order purchases, Internet purchases, as well as out-of-state purchases. However, the burden is placed on the resident of that jurisdiction (i.e. the buyer) to pay the tax, not on the merchant to collect the tax.

      In practice there has only been one attempt at actually enforcing this type of rule. In the early 1990's, New York City sent a number of inspectors into New Jersey to find New Yorkers who were buying big ticket items in New Jersey to save on the

  • .. I just wishh it'd be a flat tax. I really don't want to deal with purchasing from different states with different taxes.
  • Catalogs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by andyrut ( 300890 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @06:59PM (#7323735) Homepage Journal
    I see no reason why Internet sales should be treated any differently than catalog or telephone sales.

    If I buy a widget from Company X via a catalog when I live in a different state than Company X, I'm not charged Company X's state's sales tax. But when this moratorium expires, I could be charged state sales tax if the purchase were over the Internet. And then, which state's sales tax would I have to pay?

    Why should the medium of the purchase dictate the taxation rules? I, for one, would like to see sales tax laws universally applied for interstate commerce.
    • Interstate commerce is not taxable by the states. The states keep trying to decide that it is and trying to dream up ways to do it. It's against the rules. It should be against the rules. Go find money elsewhere!
  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @07:00PM (#7323741)
    Technically states can and do tax out of state purchases. If you buy something in another state and bring it back home youre expected to pay the sales tax. Same if you order something through the mails. If you buy from a large enough company that has a presence in your state you will pay the appropriate sales tax. Funny thing is many years ago I bought a 20 meg bernoulli drive for my Mac. The drive was made by a company called berring and about a year later they called trying to collect the new york sales tax because they had been informed they had to.

    Anyhow this probably won't be a big deal for most internet businesses except for the paperwork. It might not hurt them at all if there is a provision made for the expense of collection. It will hurt those that were only in business because they were a tax dodge.
    • by Jin Wicked ( 317953 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @07:15PM (#7323849) Homepage Journal

      Anyhow this probably won't be a big deal for most internet businesses except for the paperwork. It might not hurt them at all if there is a provision made for the expense of collection. It will hurt those that were only in business because they were a tax dodge.

      You'd be surprised how much a little extra paperwork can cripple a sole proprietorship (I'm not allowed to have employees unless I change my business status and incur another whole world of complications), already being run in combination with a second job, like me. Collecting and remitting state sales taxes, along with regular accounting, and reconciling that with federal income taxes and piles of extra forms is already a huge hassle and confusing as Hell. The ONLY way internet sales tax will work is if they establish a tax system outside of the existing tax codes and districts... like if I no longer remit TX state sales tax and just collect (for example) a "national internet sales tax" of X% that's divided between the states or something.

      If you ever looked at the tax districts, codes, what goes to states, city and metro jurisdiction... well, it's forked up. If they try to dump a convoluted national internet sales tax thing ON TOP of that, I think it would force a lot of small internet businesses like me to just throw their hands in the air and give up entirely.

    • "If you buy something in another state and bring it back home youre expected to pay the sales tax."

      This is usually true only if the state in which you purchased the item has no sales tax, or a lesser sales tax than the state in which you are a resident, in which case you are only liable for the difference in sales tax between what you paid in the lower-tax state and the state in which you reside.

      For example, I live in Philadelphia, which is very close to Delaware, where there is no sales tax. If I go to D
  • by bnavarro ( 172692 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @07:00PM (#7323751)
    It bans "use tax". It prevents states from taxing ISPs based on people simply connecting to the internet, like they do now for phone lines.

    State sales taxes on internet purchases have been, and are still legal, and congress is doing nothing to stop them.

    In fact, right now it is only possible for a state to successfully collect sales taxes if the e-commerce provider has a presence in their state, but the states are banding together to try to rectify this "problem", by creating a uniform sales taxation scheme that will force an e-comerce dealer in, say, New Hampshire, to collect and forward California state sales taxes from anyone residing in California.
  • Tax systems (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Knights who say 'INT ( 708612 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @07:10PM (#7323813) Journal
    Just a few ideas rolling - I'm sure /.'ers will come up with more, and comment on this specific case. Not being an american, I lack the general "feeling" on the workings of the american economy.

    0) Both empirical data and theoretical elaboration seem to concurr on that an Added Value tax would be the most efficient kind of taxation. Sales taxes don't quite distribute tax burden efficiently along the production chain. But how complex is really the production chain in a high added value internet reseller?

    1) In countries with a high unemployed capacity, sales taxes will be very hurtful, as they will reduce consumption. But in a mature economy like the US, a carefully planned combination of consumption taxes and investment exemptions could encourage savings - and americans save four to five times less than their european counterparts.

    2) The deadweight burden (the loss in welfare that doesn't become govt revenue) of a tax depends (among other supply-related factors) on demand elasticity - how much will demand react to a change in prices. If internet buyers are more price-sensitive than, say, buyers at the Walmart station in Dullsboro/OH, this could be hurtful to profitability perspectives as a whole.

    3) How will this affect e-commerce with other countries? Foreigners are never happy to pay US taxes.

    4) From a general equilibrium viewpoint, how large is the internet retail market in comparison to the large scheme of things? If not large enough, could it be the proverbial butterfly in south america causing a month-long storm in India?

    5) I don't know if product-factor (Leontieff) matrixes are done by US bureaus of statistics regularly, but it would be interesting to take a peek if they did. Leontieff matrixes attempt to capture the interdependence of sectors in the economy - and while not being theoretically strict from a general equilibrium viewpoint, they're a very practical statistical tool. Anyone knows something about this?

    6) Are they just trying to alleviate the govt. deficit? It doesn't seem to me the administration really cares about govt deficit.

    7) Are they trying to impose stricter regulations on the internet on the grounds of tax evasions?

    8) etc. etc.
    • > matrixes

      Matrices.
    • "Are they just trying to alleviate the govt. deficit? It doesn't seem to me the administration really cares about govt deficit."

      No there has in fact generally been a surplus of taxes collected which is why there isn't much concern for the deficit... it's being paid on schedule. And quite frankly, it's not like any bill collectors are going to come knocking on the door of the most powerful superpower in the world. As for the bulk which is owed to the citizens of the US, yeah right, they care.

      "1) In count
  • I suppose they'll enforce sales tax on us by claiming that having membership (a userID) with a website you purchased from constitutes being in the same STATE/State/state as you make the purchase?

    Everyone should go buy the book Cracking the Code [amazon.com] or read it online from SupremeLaw.Org [supremelaw.org], or read information [216.239.53.104] on your Straw Man and howto validate the alleged "Sales Tax."

    More taxation may actualy cause more freemen (and freewomen) to appear out of the wood-work. I'm one of them. :-)
  • As the subject says. At least that way I have a choice in paying it. Taxes are one of the two sure things in life, I'd rather have a choice in paying for it.
  • If this bill banned taxing internet access I think we should be lobbying to get them to expand it to cover taxing telephone access. My phone bill would probably be cut in half if I didn't have to pay all the different taxes they sneak in.
    • Actualy, avoidance of over priced services do change people's choices. All the taxes on a landline make them as pricey as cell service. As such lots of people are dropping land lines and using a cell as the primary service. Without all the taxes, a landline would be much cheaper than a cell phone.

      The taxes on long distance is another example. I get lots of telemarketers trying to get me to switch long distance carriers. Due to the costs, I don't have a long distance carrier. I use a phone card. A $2
  • Ask Slashdot... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What about the possibility of forming a Non-Profit organization that one could be part of and through which one could bypass sales tax? Would there be any advantage to making it religous based? Political party?

    In this neck of the woods, 10% of businesses avoid taxes this way, but we still need to extend this privlege to the common man. Any suggestions on how to achieve this?

    Each member runs there own division?
  • I'm quite ambivilant on the internet sales tax issue. I've worked with a number of mid-sized, non-chain retailers who are loosing a significant number of sales to the internet because of sales tax. A lot of times people will shop in the store and then buy online. They try to sell their customer service, physical presence, etc, but the bottom line is that even when they can compete with an online price they always get burned by sales tax. The internet sales tax morotorium is likely to put quite a few small
  • by DCowern ( 182668 ) * on Monday October 27, 2003 @08:47PM (#7324566) Homepage

    Warning: This is slightly offtopic but applicable to internet taxation nonetheless.

    One of the biggest complaints about sales tax is that (in brick and mortar outlets) you never know exactly how much you're going to pay for something. For example, I run over to Walmart and I want to buy a can of Spaghetti O's. The label reads $0.79/can. If I have $5.00 in my pocket, I can buy 6 cans... or can I?

    If I'm in an area with a different sales tax as the one I'm familiar with (in Louisiana sales tax varies from parish to parish where parish is the rough equivalent of a county), I may miscalculate the tax and I might not have enough at checkout.

    I REALLY wish the government would pass a law that all taxes must be included in the labeled sale price. The seller should take into account the appropriate sales tax when deciding how much to sell an item for and the state should just take a percentage out of the seller's gross sales. It would take an unneccessary burden of the consumer.

    If they did this and got rid of the penny, think of how much easier shopping would be. Keeping track of $0.50 for this, $0.35 for that, $20.50 for something else would be a lot easier than $0.39 for this, $1.99 for that, $19.99 for something else plus tax.

    They should do the same thing for the internet if they levy an interstate sales tax on items bought on the internet. Granted, it's a lot easier to hit "cancel" on a web checkout form than to put things back at a grocery but it would set a nice precident.

    P.S. -- VERY OT, has anyone else been getting lots of Server 500 errors when browsing Slashdot over the past week? I used to never get any and now I'm getting them in roughly one out every five page views... weird.

    • I agree with you. On a recent trip to California, I was really peeved at the way prices are never what they seemed.

      In certain places, like McDonald's, you paid what you saw. $1.99 for a McWhatever.. you paid $1.99. But at In'N'Out (oh I miss that place), for a $2.99 burger, you ended up paying like $3.23 or some similarly bizarre amount. Shopping at Ralph's was as interesting, which certain trips resulting in no tax, and others resulting in a few dollars (I believe this is because food is exempt from CA sa
    • Very OT (Score:3, Funny)

      by wadetemp ( 217315 )
      P.S. -- VERY OT, has anyone else been getting lots of Server 500 errors when browsing Slashdot over the past week? I used to never get any and now I'm getting them in roughly one out every five page views... weird.

      Yes, I have. Also I noticed that http://www.slashdot.org started redirecting to http://slashdot.org:80, instead of just http://slashdot.org, at about the same time I started seeing the 500 errors occasionally. It must mean they've changed something (in the Matrix.)
    • Jeez, you in the USA have a very backwards country :)
      In Europe the gross price is shown on the labels (sometimes along with net price, esp. in wholesale stores).

  • The different states are going to impose their own sales taxes on internet purchases and some cities are going to impose their own taxes.

    What does this mean?

    a) some states will try to tax internet purchasing out of existence in order to protect brick and mortars

    b) some states will selectively tax to protect some local industry.

    c) some states will overtax in order to advance social agendas.

    d) companies that facilitate online purchasing will probably offer state sales tax collection services. For softwar
    • It's funny you mentioned this item. I heard on the radio this morning that the new car registration fees went into effect in California at the beginning of October. The first week, new car sales were down 30%. The second week the sales were down another 30%. I guess getting newer low emissions vehicles off California highways is working well. Oh this agenda was sold to the public as a way to raise state income. The bad news is the lower sales has resulted in less revenue from the higher registration fe
  • by russotto ( 537200 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @08:53PM (#7324632) Journal
    If only there was a "WRONG" moderation and it applied to the blurbs!

    The fact that Internet and catalog retailers don't have to collect sales tax for states they don't have a business presence in is a result of a Supreme Court decision and the Interstate Commerce Clause of the US Constitution (which reserves regulation of interstate commerce to the federal government). That doesn't expire. The states have been trying, since before the Internet was a big thing, to get Congress to change that. So far they've failed, but they are still trying.

    What does expire is a moratorium on a tax on Internet services themselves -- e.g. a tax on your ISP's services.
  • I live in Delaware you insensitive clod!
  • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Monday October 27, 2003 @09:40PM (#7325003)
    Well frankly I live way the hell out in the middle of nowhere. The closest mall is 45-50 minutes away and with gas still hovering around $1.65 thats just under $10 plus my time to go buy a single item. For half that (shipping and handling) plus no sales tax (thank you california 8.25%!!!)I don't waist my time and gas driving and then having to fight the crowds and taking the chance they don't even have what I'm looking for.

    Other than some kinds of clothes there is very little I haven't bought on the internet. Parts for my computer, photo gear, clothes, scuba gear, stuff for my dogs, presents, and yes even toilet paper. Other than perishable food items I buy every thing online that I can.

    Mostly because of convience and savings, but at the same time it's on principle since I live in the People's Republic of California, the third largest communist country after China and the EU, where the politicians have a nasty way of pissing away our tax money like there is no tomorrow.

    A good example is the fuel tax, at $.18 a gallon, they collect over $16 billion a year with this tax. You know how much of it they actually spend on roads? Less than 1/4 of it, California by the way has some of the worse roads in the country.

    I make it a point not to buy from any company that charges CA sales tax, even if it mean it will take an extra few days to get it shipped in from New Jersey. Funny though, even with the extra shipping charge the prices still usually manage to come in under those based in CA.

  • "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
    If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
    -- Ronald Reagan

    We need to put an end to this aweful cycle.
  • They have hired 40,000 new tax inspectors.

    Revenue Canada reps last summer also attended a world government conference to deal with the growing 'problem' of lost tax revenues due to internet sales. The bureaucrats were quite literally getting hysterical with the fear that money was moving without being bled off to pay for their comfy suburban houses and four door family cars, big screen televisions and private school bills.

    In Canada, at any rate, the party is ending, the vultures are landing.

    I'm always a
  • Friends, Congress is debating a bill to permanently extend the federal ban on taxing Internet access -- like DSL, cable ISP etc. Several states can actually tax these services under a grandfather clause in the original moratorium. The new bill would ban access taxes everywhere.

    This is NOT about sales taxes. That's a whole other debate. If you want to know more about it, go here [washingtonpost.com].

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