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The Almighty Buck The Internet

Washington State Encourages Internet Sales Tax 200

prostoalex writes "Washington state Governor signed a tax bill encouraging out of state businesses to collect sales taxes on purchases made by Washington state residents. It should be noted, though, that Washington state does not collect personal income tax, and hence relies on state sales tax for 53.1% of its revenues." As the article notes, "People who purchase items from out-of-state Internet or catalog companies are currently supposed to pay the sales tax, but rarely do." Looks like Washington-staters won't be able to fib on their tax returns about internet purchases, starting in 2008.
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Washington State Encourages Internet Sales Tax

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  • by slughead ( 592713 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @09:29AM (#18470301) Homepage Journal
    I don't think this is legal under the constitution. The sales are made outside WA and therefore cannot be taxed by the WA government. A lot of governors have tried this crap, I don't think any have succeeded though.

    It's stupid anyway. Sales taxes in Seattle are up to 9.1% which is pretty damn ridiculous. If I were living in WA and this went through, I'd move. Internet purchases help make WA living more affordable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by karnal ( 22275 )
      But the state doesn't have personal tax. So if you actually lived in the state of Washington it would be a good deal. This was even noted in the /. summary: It should be noted, though, that Washington state does not collect personal income tax, and hence relies on state sales tax for 53.1% of its revenues."

      Tip: Don't buy anything in Washington if you don't live there :)
      • When I was working retail, all a customer had to do was show an out-of-state ID, and their purchase would be sales tax exempt.

        I would assume this wouldn't apply to the newer Hotel/Rental car taxes tho.
    • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @09:45AM (#18470419) Homepage Journal
      I'm not sure I disagree with you, but to play devil's advocate for a moment one *could* say the sale *does* take place in WA. The buyer makes a purchase from his or her home or workplace which is in the State of WA. The *physical* aspect of making a purchase (in this case clicking 'submit order' or whatever) is taking place in that state.

      Governments do have to collect taxes. I actually prefer a sales or VAT tax over any income tax at all.

      Again, not saying that I think they should necessarily get away with doing this. I *do* think that the entire tax system and code(s) needs a complete overhaul, not just in light of new technology such as the Internet, but also in light of how convoluted and cumbersome it is overall. Of course the politicos on both sides of the isle mostly like complicated tax codes. Makes it easier for them to bury loopholes for their masters...I mean campaign contributors.
      • by Dun Malg ( 230075 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @10:35AM (#18470769) Homepage

        I'm not sure I disagree with you, but to play devil's advocate for a moment one *could* say the sale *does* take place in WA.
        No, you actually can't say that. The law is very clear on this, and predates the internet, having been settled long ago on the issue of mail-order. The sale happens where the money changes hands in exchange for the goods. That location is the business office where they process the credit card transaction, deposit the check, or receive the cash. It doesn't matter if your ass is in a chair on the beach in waikiki or in a barcolounger in cleveland, if you're buying from a guy in Texas, the sale is in Texas.
        • So if the sale takes place in the state where the business is located, where does the consumer's state get the authority to tax it?
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            States get the authority to tax interstate purchases from the same place that software companies get the authority to impose EULAs: from the magic of flat-out lying.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by The Warlock ( 701535 )
            Florida got around this little obstacle by taxing "use" instead of "sale", where the "use" tax was waived if you paid a sales tax. The end result, of course, was that out-of-state purchases were taxed as much as in-state purchases. A clever bit of legal work, I must say.
      • I think that's disconnected. The problem is that the sale still crosses state lines, and if the product and store is not physically in WA (has to be shipped in), then interstate commerce code applies, not the state's, because the *physical* act of making the rest of the transaction takes place mostly outside WA. While the buyer is in WA, the seller is somewhere else. In not having a physical presence in WA, I, as a seller, am not under WA's jurisdiction. Just because I happen to serve a few bits to the
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        I agree with most of what you say. Governments absolutely need legitimate sources of income. However, the devils advocate part falls apart when looked at closely. A person is no more "doing business in the home" with an internet purchase than they are using a phone call/mail order catalog. Are you saying because their voice says "yes I'll buy it" or their hand puts a stamp on the envelope that these businesses should also pay taxes? I would have to disagree with that. The transaction takes place remotely,
      • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

        I actually prefer a sales or VAT tax over any income tax at all.
        Do you, perchance, have a high income? In a situation where VAT is the only tax, the poor spend a greater proportion of their income on tax than the rich, because they spend all their income.
      • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @05:33PM (#18473931) Homepage Journal
        Article I, Section 9:
        "No tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any state."
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Teresita ( 982888 )
      It's stupid anyway. Sales taxes in Seattle are up to 9.1% which is pretty damn ridiculous. If I were living in WA and this went through, I'd move. Internet purchases help make WA living more affordable.

      Right. Let's save money. Let's move from a beautiful green ecotopia and hot job market (Boeing, Amazon, Starbucks, Paccar, Microsoft, and Dept. of Defense) with rising house prices, to Detroit, where houses go for $30,000 and people make SUVs that don't sell because everyone wants a Prius.
    • It's stupid anyway. Sales taxes in Seattle are up to 9.1% which is pretty damn ridiculous. If I were living in WA and this went through, I'd move. Internet purchases help make WA living more affordable.

      You should not complain so much, Washington state does not have personal income tax do they? 9% in that case would be a small amount to pay.

    • I don't think this is legal under the constitution. The sales are made outside WA and therefore cannot be taxed by the WA government. A lot of governors have tried this crap, I don't think any have succeeded though.
      Hence the wording of the law, which "encourages" rather than "mandates" out of state retailers to collect the tax. Yeah, I agree, it's pretty stupid.
      • The state makes up the remaining amount of the roughly 46.8% on other forms of taxes such as extremely high property tax. There are constant levies, constant increases in other forms of tax as well, but the property tax is what is supposed to make up for the difference. Then there is a problem where WA state seems to think that everyone should be an employee of the state. The state provides nearly no benefits to those below poverty and puts nearly no money into the coffers of the school system instead the
    • You're telling me it's stupid. I'm happy as hell that I'm getting out of this idiotic state soon. They like to keep raising the minimum wage to be the highest. Now, you could say that's good for some, but in the long run, that kind of periodic raising will make companies look elsewhere. It's going to slow the growth of business in the state. Then there was the online gambling ban, which is utterly fucking STUPID. The state legislature is majorly fucked up. Why do people keep voting these boobs into office?
    • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @01:47PM (#18472269) Homepage

      I don't think this is legal under the constitution. The sales are made outside WA and therefore cannot be taxed by the WA government. A lot of governors have tried this crap, I don't think any have succeeded though

      It is legal, according to the Supreme Court. The main case in this area is Complete Auto Transit vs. Brady.

      The state is not taxing the out-of-state sales. Rather, it is imposing an excise tax on possession or use of the items by residents of the state (this kind of tax is usually called a "use tax", and I'll call it that in the rest of this comment). A common example of this kind of thing is taxes on luxury items such as boats. If a state has such a tax, you generally will have to pay it when you register the boat, even if you bought the boat out of state. The same power that allows the state to tax that boat that you are using in-state regardless of where you bought it is what allows them to tax, say, your mail-order books or computers or viagra.

      The main limits on this, due to the interstate commerce clause in the Constitution, are that they cannot force merchants in another state to collect the tax for them (but see below), and the tax cannot unduly burden out-of-state purchases. The Court has decided that this means that the total tax on an out-of-state purchase (sales taxes in the state of sale plus the use tax in the buyer's state) cannot exceed what the tax would have been had the item been purchased in-state.

      As far as collection goes, a state does not have the power, in general, to tell a merchant in another state to collect this use tax for the state. What I mean by "in general" is that an arbitrary merchant, in another state, that does not have some connection with the buyer's state other than selling items to them, could not be forced to collect for the state. However, if that merchant has some relationship with the state that does give the state power over it (such as it having offices or stores in the buyer's state), then they state may have power over it. This is why major national merchants collect taxes on mail-order purchases, even if their mail-order operation is out of the purchaser's state--they have retail stores in the purchaser's state, and so the state can tell them to collect the tax.

      For items where the merchant does not have to, and does not voluntarily decide to, collect the use tax, the state has generally only actually collected on items like cars and boats, that have a registration requirement. But most states do have a (widely ignored and in most cases largely unknown) requirement that you pay your use tax.

      Oh, one more thing. I don't remember what case it was in, but I believe the Court has also decided that Congress does have the power to require merchants to collect use taxes when they sell mail-order, even if they do not have a sufficient present in the buyer's state to give that state authority to compel such collection.

  • by topham ( 32406 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @09:33AM (#18470323) Homepage
    The fact you have individual City tax rates is the biggest problem.

    While the current situation in Canada is similar to the U.S., out of province purchase isn't subject to sales tax unless the company has a local presence, or you live in Quebec. (They are always the exception).

    Implementing tax collection based on destination in Canada is simple, a table containing the province, tax rate, expiry date, and gl code are probably sufficient.

    In the U.S. you would need a complete database of Zipcodes, and, or addresses to resolve the tax rate. Ugh! Now you have to maintain that, and that is probably on a monthly basis, not even yearly.
    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      In the U.S. you would need a complete database of Zipcodes, and, or addresses to resolve the tax rate. Ugh! Now you have to maintain that, and that is probably on a monthly basis, not even yearly.

      It's not a big deal. That's a cost of doing business. Besides, if this happens, it'll be built into all of the major shopping cart software inside of a week.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by thewils ( 463314 )
        it'll be built into all of the major shopping cart software inside of a week

        Already is, there's a thriving industry in the US providing sales/use taxes by City, County and State because they change so frequently making it impossible to keep up on your own. Here's a quick google of same [google.ca]

        The fun starts when you get ZipCodes that span City, County or State boundaries...and also when you start having to apply taxes historically because of crediting returns, etc.
    • out of province purchase isn't subject to sales tax unless the company has a local presence, or you live in Quebec.

      Wrong! You pulled a fact out of your anus. In fact if you're a business and you buy goods out of province you have to self-assess the provincial sales tax and pay it to your government. Furthermore, if you buy a big ticket item like say, a car from Alberta, try insuring it in your province. You'll have to pony up the PST. Furthermore if you buy goods in the US and bring them across the border you also have to pay PST.

      Only consumers don't pay PST when buying stuff from other provinces, mostly becaus

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by topham ( 32406 )

        Perhaps I should have clarified, I was not talking about Businesses purchasing products or services.
        I'm Canadian, lived in greater vancouver and currently live in Winnipeg manitoba. I can assure you that there are a lot of people that are fulling willing to drive to Alberta (from Winnipeg) just to save on sales tax.
        But, we were not talking about people physically shopping, but rather over the internet.

        When importing items into Canada you do not pay PST on the items at customs, with SOME exceptions. Vehicles
    • Yeah, but look at the alternative. If we had one tax level, that would mean that when Washington State government decides they want a stadium and that it should be tax-funded (and yes, they do this!), people who live in Spokane would have to pay for a stadium built in Seattle if there was only one state tax rate. Does that seriously sound fair to you? How often is someone who lives in Spokane going to drive to Seattle for a football game?

      I'm totally against people paying for services they didn't want and ca
  • Where's the value? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by way2trivial ( 601132 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @09:37AM (#18470361) Homepage Journal
    what exactly, did the state of the purchaser do, or provide to deserve 'their share'
    seriously.. I pay property taxes to my community, which benefit my community..
    if I don't like them, I can move- and pay taxes (or not) elsewhere...

    I can see a state requiring businesses to pay sales tax based on their location- you sell from delaware, you have no other locations, you charge no taxes..
    benefit to deleware? lotsa companys move to delaware for real.. and increase the states revenue in other ways (new UPS center, new fedex center, new airports, new train hubs)

    you sell fron NYC, you pay NYC taxes, all the way down to the city level......

    but, if I sell from delaware, and sell to WA, how is the states infrastructure involved that they deserve anything?
    if I am a bad merchant, which states attorney general/BBB is going to be contacted?
    (hint, the seller's state)

    it should be evolutionary taxation, 50 little economic centers- stodgy states can charge the high/heavy taxes and just have funds from heavy handedness and spend it on tax collection/enforcement, enlightened states can charge no sales tax, and enjoy increased revenues from having more citizens, employed in more jobs....
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by scheme ( 19778 )

      what exactly, did the state of the purchaser do, or provide to deserve 'their share' seriously.. I pay property taxes to my community, which benefit my community.. if I don't like them, I can move- and pay taxes (or not) elsewhere...

      Aside from providing services like roads, state police, labor and environmental protection to the purchaser, courts, etc. the state didn't do much to deserve the sales tax.

      • should be funded by the means necassary to get the package to the door (i.e. the commerce that occurs in the state)

        UPS (who delievers in the state) pays what should keep up the roads required to deliver through state fuel taxes.

        the purchaser (recipient) pays property taxes and income taxes for the state services (police, courts)

        if the state is unable to make their economic model work- it needs to evolve... but it should be a self-contained financial entity..

        Now.. if a state decides to charge a higher gas
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Right...but besides providing services like roads, state police, labor and environmental protection to the purchaser, courts, etc., what have the Romans ever done for us?

        Oops, I mean the state... :)

      • by Phroggy ( 441 )
        Don't forget public education.
  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @09:40AM (#18470377) Journal
    "Washington state Governor signed a tax bill encouraging out of state businesses to collect sales taxes
    ...
    Looks like Washington-staters won't be able to fib on their tax returns about internet purchases, starting in 2008.


    Why? Washington state has NO power to do anything more than "encourage" out-of-state companies to comply. Not only can't they practically enforce this, trying to do so would violate Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 [wikipedia.org] of the US constitution.



    States can pass all the stupid laws they want regarding what you have to pay for "use" tax and the like. But at the end of the day (at least, at the end of April 15th), cash still lets you make untraceable (and untaxable after-the-fact) purchases.

    I will really never understand why we accept "death and taxes" as somehow magically inevitable. The governments of the world have demonstrated themselves completely incapable of responsibly allocating the resources of the citizenry for the common good. Why do we still let them?

    We should view tax evasion as one of the most noble of "crimes", depriving aggressive social parasites of their sole form of food.
    • The only way to truly free yourself from taxes involves significant risk of death. And even then you don't free everybody from taxes. Most people simply decide the benefits of not being a revolutionary outweigh the cost of not being in charge.
    • Why let them? Because there's no better solution that isn't vaporware. It's like saying, "why should you be limited by Windows, OS X, or Linux? I believe in ShinyHappyOS. Sure, we only have six developers, and they can't even agree on what SHOS should do and not do, but these other people have it all wrong!

      Tax evasion isn't a noble crime. It's a crime of greed on the part of the person doing the evading. They want to keep more of their money. It's not as if they take that money and contribute it to c
  • Looks like Washington-staters won't be able to fib on their tax returns about internet purchases, starting in 2008

    Well, that's not really an issue since there's no state income tax in Washington state.

    (Although having residents like Bill Gates and Paul Allen is a good reason to consider it.)

    • Actually, both of them likely have capital gains that far, far outpace income. And as such probably pay a much lower effective tax rate than (e.g.) a surgeon does, or even a member of the middle class.
    • You'd see MS moving out of state REAL quick if that happened. I wish Michigan had as much sense as Washington and Oregeon, instead we have a dumbass governor that wants to RAISE taxes, on an already crippled economy. They're also talking about raising the gas tax, which might not be a bad thing if they actually use it to fix the damn roads.
  • The thing is, that you can look at this issue like it's money-grubbing on the part of the politicians, which I'm sure is part of the story. Another important thing to realize is that some kind of national sales tax collection law thing is necessary to protect brick and mortar stores. There's no possible way that a brick and mortar store can compete with an online store if price is all people care about (and apparently, from the number of Slashdotters who say that they buy a lot online, price *is* the only
    • The advantage goes to the virtual store. Physical stores have a host of problems that cost a great deal of money that online stores simply do not have. The biggest one that I can think of is:

      They close.

  • The government of Washington State can do whatever encouragement it wants. Without a physical presence in the state, businesses are under no obligation to do squat in terms of reporting to Washington State government what's been sold into Washington State.

    There are a number of theories of laws to support *not* sending the information, even if encouraged to do so. Imagine the litigation pain in the butt for private citizens accused of importing goods from say, Nevada, for a measily $100 in plausible return.

    I
    • It used to be fun to live in Washington State, having no income tax, while shopping totally in Oregon, which had no state sales tax. My friends that lived in Vancouver Washington were overjoyed at their 20% higher net-of-taxes income possibilities.

      You're saying that it's "fun" to deliberately game the system to avoid paying taxes? So what? That doesn't make it right morally, ethically, or legally. That's certainly not something that I would brag about. Did your friends ever think beyond their own wal
      • Washington State's brick-and-mortar businesses ought to ask the Washington State legislature to get real, and consider the fact that the time is past to use sales tax as a 50% contributor to the budget. Sales are too mercurial to do this.

        In terms of morality, there is no questions that governments need to be financed. But it's fascist to think that we're under an obligation to conserve our income. Much work needs to be done to harmonize tax infrastructure. More work needs to be done to prohibit governments
      • Did your friends ever think beyond their own wallet, as to the damage that they were doing to Washington's brick and mortar businesses? Did your friends ever consider if Washington would be such a great state to live in if most of the brick and mortar stores said "Fuck it. We can't compete with these people who just want to avoid paying taxes. We're closing up shop"? There is a flipside to that too: some of us Portlanders will cross the river to buy cars because the auto dealers like to say "Cars sell for
  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @10:34AM (#18470759) Journal

    Looks like Washington-staters won't be able to fib on their tax returns about internet purchases, starting in 2008.

    The state has no income tax so for the most part state residents don't file returns. There is a form [wa.gov](PDF) people fill out if they bought things online or out of state but if you were going to lie on that form you wouldn't fill it out at all. Far fewer than 1% of Washington residents fill out this form.

    Back when car tabs on a big RV cost more than $5,000/yr it was quite common to go to a neighboring state to buy the thing, which cost the state a great deal of money in lost sales tax. To recover this lost tax an enforcement program was begun, and several people were prosecuted and fined up to the full value of the vehicle. This raised public awareness of the tax to the point where a series of initiatives was passed to make the registration tabs on all vehicles a flat $30. A series of (IIRC) three initiatives was required because each initiative that was overwhelmingly passed was immediately opposed by the government, the courts, and the attorney general's office. It was turning into a parody of democratic principles. They even did a hatchet job on reputation of the citizen who started and pushed the $30 car tab movement, Tim Eyman. Eventually though they got the idea that the people weren't going to tolerate this tax any more and even though the AG had the initiatives that passed declared unconstitutional the legislature reduced the tax to $30 anyway.

    Immediately after this Seattle and some other jurisdictions passed new add-on taxes for vehicles but called them by a new name. At present the taxes on vehicle registrations are still much more reasonable even in the worst case. The struggle on this issue in Washington continues and likely will not end.

    There is currently a movement to install a personal income tax in Washington in the name of fairness. It is likely to get a lot of press, but no traction. The only way this would get popular support was if it was promised to lower other taxes also and the people of Washington know that would be a flat lie. Besides, several of the wealthiest business people in the world live in Washington and they can afford to have a state income tax quietly killed.

    FTA:

    The main sticking point revolved around a change the law makes on where sales tax goes when it is collected. Under current law, the jurisdiction where a product originates receives the sales tax. That doesn't help the state, if the product originates with an out-of-state Internet company.

    Under the measure, the jurisdiction where the product is delivered would get the tax.

    The change benefits some cities and towns, but hurts others. To solve this problem, the measure calls for mitigation, in which jurisdictions that lose money would receive payments from the state.

    This "mitigation" sounds like a way for some bureaucrat to increase the "fairness" to his friends and family. That's going to end well.

    • It's kind of funny that we have Eyman on one side and the state government on the other. I think Eyman's a total blowhard, and his $30 license tabs went way too far... but on the other hand, if it wasn't for someone like him prodding the government into action, we'd still have ridiculous license tabs. And frankly, I'd prefer taxes that are too low compared to taxes that are too high.

      Of course, one of the reasons that the license tabs were so high in the first place is that roughly 2/3rds of the population (
    • >They even did a hatchet job on reputation of the citizen who started and pushed the $30 car tab movement, Tim Eyman.

      When "they" found out that Eyman pocketed fifty thousand of contributions, should "they" have refrained from asking him about it? When he denied it, should "they" have taken his word for it? When it was proven, should "they" have carefully covered it up?

      How on earth is telling people where their money is going a "hatchet job"?
  • (FYI I am Canadian)

    Firstly, the Supreme Court decision mentioned (RTFA) states that businesses don't have to collect taxes for a state unless they have a presence (nexus) in that state. Secondly, what state is going to start collecting taxes and remitting them to another state - they have no obligation to do this (due to the same 1992 SC ruling I believe) - it would only work with a reciprocal agreement (hence the consortium of 21 states I guess).

    But, it only takes a few 'rogue' states to spoil it. If you
  • about taxation in an ideal world. Whether you buy from a local vendor or from an internet vendor isn't one of them.

    They are:

    (1) How much you are taxed
    (2) How fairly you are taxed
    (3) How complex it is to comply with the tax.

    How much you are taxed, on average, depends on how much your elected officials spend. Taxing Internet sales doesn't raise your taxation levels on average.

    Clearly, not taxing Internet sales is simpler than taxing them for everyone.

    The real question is fairness.
  • So what are they going to do about people who live in the southernmost portions of Washington, and who hop across a bridge to Oregon cities like Portland, where there's no sales tax? Are they going to put a toll on the bridges that only applies to Washingtonians who may have spent money in Stumptown?
    • by chill ( 34294 )
      For a while there they were trying to do just that, with a couple of roadblocks on I-90 east of Spokane trying to catch people who made big, tax free purchases in Montana. This was 3 or 4 years ago, and they were only stopping people with Washington license plates. It didn't last long.

      And with both Oregon and Montana not having sales tax, and Kellogg, Idaho having one of the largest Dodge/Jeep dealers in North America -- they are VERY touchy about registering a car in Washington that you brought in from o
  • For a physical sale in Washington state, sales tax makes sense--visitors and tourists use the roads, infrastructure and government services too. Sales tax for Internet purchases outside of Washington state does not make sense. Should the volume of online sales increase to the point that sales tax revenues start plummeting rapidly I'm pretty sure this would be offset by increases in property and business-related taxes when UPS, FedEx, etc. start putting in processing facilities like mad to handle the massi

  • According to prostoalex, "Washington state ... relies on state sales tax for 53.1% of its revenues."

    That's incorrect, off by half. State taxes provide $33b of the state's $63b budget -- 52.3%. But sales tax makes up 53.1% of the state's portion of the revenue, not 53.1% of the revenue. In fact, it makes up .531*.523 == 27.7% of the revenue for the state. You'll note also that the state's revenue stream for licenses and fees (another word for tax) is $10b that isn't included in that $33b mentioned earlie
  • I dont buy from CA online anymore because of their tax. It would be a shame for Washington to make the same mistake. All it will do is drive buisness out of the state.

  • United States Constitution trumps Washington State law.
    http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html [usconstitution.net]

    Section 9.
    "No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State."

    There is court precedence to back it up, too.
    http://tinyurl.com/2pyvoh [tinyurl.com]

  • From the summary:

    'Washington state does not collect personal income tax'

    or also from the summary:

    'Looks like Washington-staters won't be able to fib on their tax returns about internet purchases, starting in 2008.'

    • by faedle ( 114018 )
      Legally, residents of WA are supposed to file a tax return that is a sum of all their purchases made outside the state. For example, Vancouver WA is right across the state line from Oregon, which has no state sales tax, and many who live in what we (Portlanders) refer to as the "Leper Colony" make many major purchases in Oregon as a consequence. In fact, there is an entire shopping center (Jantzen Beach Mall) which exists right on the other side of the Interstate Bridge.. and on a typical Saturday the par
  • Utah, which had joined the so-called "Streamlined Sales Tax Project" (ha!), was going to start collecting sales tax based on where an item was delivered even in-state rather than where it was sent from, but first repeatedly delayed and later scuttled plans to do so, along with, I believe, some other aspects of the Project. Even for in-state purchases, the complexity of tracking the rates for and reporting sales to so many jurisdictions was too great a burden on businesses.

    The only way I can imagine someth

  • WTF? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @12:55PM (#18471823)
    Looks like Washington-staters won't be able to fib on their tax returns about internet purchases, starting in 2008.

    We don't have to file (state) tax. It says so in the article quoted about 2 sentences above this moronic comment: Washington State has no income tax.

    So now editors don't even read the blurbs. Or did they before?
  • by Migraineman ( 632203 ) on Saturday March 24, 2007 @01:20PM (#18472015)

    I'll be happy to pay your "out-of-state sales tax" if you'll provide me with the ability to vote in your elections. [Palpatine] Awlll of them. [/Palpatine]

    I expect representation for the taxation. [wikipedia.org]
  • Want to increase sales tax revenue, and total revenue? Abolish your income tax. Then exclude food and clothing from sales tax and raise it a few percent.

    "Problem" solved.

  • Oregon has no sales tax, and it's -what?- about 90 miles away?

    Imagine if Amazon threatened to move, and take all those jobs with them. I'll bet a lot of people in WA wouldn't be too happy.

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