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Retail giant attacks statute’s constitutionality

Recent changes to New York’s tax laws have internet retail giant striking back against New York state legislature and its new $122 billion budget.

Amazon’s complaint stems from a revision in New York state tax law that changes the definition of businesses obliged to pay state sales tax. Under previous code, Amazon was not obligated to pay sales tax for New York customers because it did not have employees or offices in the state of New York, and it did not actively solicit New Yorkers’ business. Under the new tax code, however, Amazon must to pay sales tax because it “directly or indirectly” pays New York-based entities for referring customers to the site through its popular Amazon Web Services and Associates Programs – effectively classifying Amazon’s “solicitors” as an appropriate physical presence.

Seattle-based Amazon called the new tax law “unconstitutional,” claiming that New York state legislators unfairly targeted it. In its complaint, filed (PDF) in last April, Amazon says New York’s new tax statute violated the Commerce and Due Process clauses of the United States Constitution, in addition to other clauses, which chiefly prohibit taxing out-of-state entities and “overly broad and vague” presumptions of “solicitation.”

Amazon’s accusations of being unfairly targeted are supported by the fact that the revised statute is commonly referred to – even by state officials – as the “Amazon Tax.”

At stake, both in the state of New York and elsewhere, are the supposedly millions of dollars in uncollected “use” taxes, which state tax authorities have no way of tracking. Taxpayers are supposed to tally up out-of-state purchases for tracking on April 15, however few people, if anyone at all, choose to do this.

The New York Times reports that the state expects to collect at least $50 million from the tax code changes.

Consequently, the seemingly voluntary “use tax” is a growing problem in a 21st century world of e-commerce and globalized business, as taxpayers are opting less and less to buy from business within the state. However, out-of-state businesses are protected from interstate taxation by the Supreme Court’s 1992 Quill v. North Dakoka decision, which found that out-of-state businesses are not obliged to pay taxes to a state in which it doesn’t maintain a significant “nexus” of operations.

Representatives for neither nor the New York State Department of Taxation would comment on the suit; N.Y.’s taxation department may choose to provide further comment after it has responded to Amazon’s complaint.

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Just knock it over...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 5/6/2008 11:02:35 AM , Rating: 5
As the article states, if the "statue" is unconstitutional, just wait till dark and go saw its head off, like it was Jedediah Springfield or something. What's the big deal?


RE: Just knock it over...
By Moishe on 5/6/2008 3:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
hahaha I was going to comment on the use of "statue"... Once I thought... oops, the second time it became clear.

The word is "statute"

State taxes.
By Denithor on 5/6/2008 11:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
What I don't understand is, why don't businesses just collect the taxes due in the state where they do business regardless of where the buyer is located? So when I buy from (located in CA) I pay CA sales tax instead of NC sales tax (where I live). That's how it works when I travel and buy something out-of-state (even if it will be used in NC I pay the local sales tax on the item).

RE: State taxes.
By just4U on 5/6/2008 12:09:10 PM , Rating: 2
Or they could break it down so that every state gets it's piece of the pie.

Business pays a lowered state tax where it's located
Consumer pays the difference in their local state

If they did it right the only added cost would come from the administration side as they tried to keep tabs on it all. Would hopefully mean no one really loses out including the consumer.. Sine we all know that if a business gets hit with new taxes they just pass it on anyway.

RE: State taxes.
By darkpaw on 5/6/2008 1:41:33 PM , Rating: 1
For small businesses, tracking taxes for even one state can be a big burden. Trying to do it for everywhere would be impossible.

The current system is not bad, its based on the fact that you pay taxes at the physical location of the store if you shop there to support the local economy. If you are shopping online and buying something from another state, you are not using any services provided by that state, so why should you pay taxes there? Conversely, that business is not using any services in your home state, so they have no tax liability.

There is a reason local taxation does not cross state lines and even though I don't do a ton of shopping online, it should stay that way.

RE: State taxes.
By Oregonian2 on 5/7/2008 9:39:20 PM , Rating: 2
That would be taxing interstate commerce and as I understand things, that's not legal for states to do. When a company has facilities in the "home" state, then it's taxable because you're buying from a company in your state, and therefore it's not interstate commerce, but a local purchase that's just being delivered from out of state.

I'm in Oregon (duh...) where we have no sales tax at all. I'd be really p***** if I had to pay California sales tax to I'd be even more so if I had to pay California, New Jersey, Tennessee, AND the taxes from all other states where Newegg has warehouses. Might double the price! Ordering from would require paying the sales tax for probably more than thirty states on a purchase if taxes were based upon where the company is. Saying where the HQ is doesn't work -- say it's where HQ is in Sweden.

When I visit Washington state nearby, as a visitor, I can purchase things and fill out a form that keeps me from having to pay state sales tax there -- even when buying in person there! Now, I have to show ID and sign something about my taking it home with me to Oregon (where we've no sales tax at all, I repeat -- even though our state government would like to add that tax to their sources of money). Obviously doesn't work for food, but for hard goods it works okay, although one has to ask the seller if they've the forms to do that. They're usually used to it (at least those off I5, the main interstate that passes though north-south).

Well, As They Say
By Tedtalker1 on 5/6/2008 8:02:28 AM , Rating: 2
There are only two things in life that are certain.
Death and taxes.

RE: Well, As They Say
By AlexWade on 5/6/2008 8:42:25 AM , Rating: 2
If you drive a car, I'll tax the street.
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat.
If you ride the bus, I'll tax your seat.
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet.

-- Paul McCartney in a Beatles song Taxman.

RE: Well, As They Say
By SteelyKen on 5/6/2008 3:58:26 PM , Rating: 2
That was George Harrison.

It is just a beginning
By dickeywang on 5/6/2008 8:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
I hope I'm wrong about this but I see no reason other states wouldn't follow NY on this issue if Amazon can not win this case.
If states start to collect taxes from stores like Amazon which clearly locate outside of the states, we can kiss good-bye to many online stores for sure.

RE: It is just a beginning
By DaveLessnau on 5/6/2008 10:58:55 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not a tax expert, but I think this kind of thing has been fully settled in the courts for decades. If an entity doesn't have representation in the state, then the state cannot tax it. It doesn't matter if the state finagles with things like:
...“directly or indirectly” pays New York-based entities for referring customers to the site through its popular Amazon Web Services and Associates Programs – effectively classifying Amazon’s “solicitors” as an appropriate physical presence.

Corporate Amazon has no representation in the state, so the state can't tax it.

RE: It is just a beginning
By Spivonious on 5/6/2008 2:30:52 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. "No taxation without representation." Unless Amazon employs people living in New York (who would therefore have a say in what taxes are passed into law), Amazon definitely will win this case.

You guys are strange
By aos007 on 5/6/2008 1:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
I find you Americans strange. You are SUPPOSED to pay taxes on anything you buy to the state you live in. And an advanced contry like US has all the technological means at its disposal to enforce it, yet it doesn't. What gives?

Here in Canada all provincial governments have been very diligent in signing deals with feds to get their taxes collected in addition to federal taxes in places they usually don't have the jurisdiction to, such as mail and border crossings. So if you order stuff online from wherever, outside or inside the country, you pay tax - both federal AND provinicial - through postal service or brokerage in case we're talking couriers like FedEx. Granted you can still get away from buying provincial tax if you buy within Canada but out of the province, though less and less businesses do that.

Yet with all that IT infrastructure and surveillance, stuff like Echelon and god knows what, the American government is not using it to enforce people to pay what they are supposed to pay? Even though they need the money? I always found it incredible when sending stuff to US and never hearing any issues with reported value of the package or taxes paid - because none are collected, it seems.

Now I personally hate this whole thing. Coming from an ex-communist country I thought only in communism they tax you on stuff you bring into country. Yet apart from some small exemptions, even in Canada they tax everything no matter where you buy it and they are VERY good at closing all loopholes. Your baggage is often scanned at the airport to find out if you didn't report any liquor, all post is intercepted and taxes collected on reported value, etc. etc. I thought there were not supposed to be ANY taxes on stuff you buy out of the country for the very reason you bought them OUT of the country. What right do they have to collect SALES taxes on stuff that wasn't SOLD within borders? Where is then the incentive to get businesses to SELL the stuff within borders? If there were no taxes on stuff you buy outside, government would have the incentive to ease whatever business issues are causing businesses to not be able to offer those same goods locally at comparable prices. They way it is now, the only one getting punished is consumer - and I always thought that was a communist practice.

RE: You guys are strange
By Reclaimer77 on 5/6/2008 5:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
I find you Americans strange. You are SUPPOSED to pay taxes on anything you buy to the state you live in. And an advanced contry like US has all the technological means at its disposal to enforce it, yet it doesn't. What gives?

I find Canadians strange too. /shrug

Its simple. The US tax code, and all 133,445,333,553,324,455 pages of it ( slight exageration ) was written before there was an Internet. Much less people purchasing items on it and having them shipped.

Would YOU want to pour through that many pages and make changes ?

I mean, your admitting Canada is tax crazy like its a good thing. Did you ever think that, when given the choice, we rather NOT pay taxes ?

You have to understand this is one state, out of 50, with an out of control budget due to being run by Liberals for 50+ years. This isn't even an issue or nearly as big of a deal as you might think. Since they have taxed nearly everything they can think of to the point of almost driving people away from living there, and still can't manage a responsible budget, they are looking to Boldly Tax Whats Never Been Taxed Before: Internet sales.

RE: You guys are strange
By Ringold on 5/6/2008 10:47:45 PM , Rating: 2
Well, heheh, lets be fair Reclaimer, his last paragraph could be summarized thus: "I hate this communist crap. I left one communist nation to move to another!"

By rdeegvainl on 5/6/2008 8:14:26 AM , Rating: 2
Sucks for states, since just about no one report it in their taxes... but I want to keep my money damn it.

By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 8:34:37 AM , Rating: 2
Is this their way to get around the federal law, or did they let that expire when I wasn't paying attention?

New York is copying Canada
By Brian23 on 5/6/2008 10:59:29 AM , Rating: 2
We want more money!

Some of that Internet money.

By twhittet on 5/6/2008 7:25:51 PM , Rating: 2
So am I the only one to notice the state of "North DakoKa"? Are they by Guam?

Hey lawmakers!
By JonnyDough on 5/8/2008 11:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
Don't we get taxed enough? When are taxes ever going to get LOWERED? All they've done is gone UP for the last 200 years. Quit it!

By jonrem on 5/6/2008 9:30:57 PM , Rating: 1
Why don't lawmakers think about the effects of taxation beyond what they gain in the short term? This will have a chilling effect in an already cooling economy. Additionally, there are many New York based companies that would stand to lose if other states were to do the same. Companies that do significant business online are already have a disadvantage over local business due to shipping costs. The way I see it is more business and commerce and fewer barriers to it benefits the economy and the people as a whole far more than any government action using the resulting tax dollars could. The internet should remain as free and as open as possible when it comes to commerce.

H.R. 25
By therealnickdanger on 5/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: H.R. 25
By JAB on 5/6/2008 8:07:49 AM , Rating: 3
Fair tax is a oxymoron it is just a good way to get everyone to pay for what you want.

RE: H.R. 25
By therealnickdanger on 5/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: H.R. 25
By straycat74 on 5/6/2008 8:29:43 AM , Rating: 5
If that was all the government did with my money, I would pay my taxes without remorse. But they do tend to extend their reach a little too far, don't ya think?

RE: H.R. 25
By Kougar on 5/6/2008 9:40:52 AM , Rating: 3
Regarding roads, that's why the American pays an average of 50-55 cents extra per gallon of gas on state+federal taxes, and a bit higher for diesel. This supports the local, state, and national road infrastructure.

At least around here, we also pay property taxes almost specifically to support the state's public education system.

I don't think the state of New York needs much of a military either, that's what the Federal government and their taxes are for.

RE: H.R. 25
By chick0n on 5/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: H.R. 25
By Omega215D on 5/6/2008 1:13:45 PM , Rating: 1
Pfff... the MTA transit system is still a mess and no matter how much money they have the work doesn't seem to show any progress. Congestion pricing won't fix a damn thing. Not only that it is shown that our local govt. spends our money on their pet projects or give themselves a raise.

Sorry, any new NY tax is not going to benefit many people.

RE: H.R. 25
By callmeroy on 5/6/2008 10:50:35 AM , Rating: 2
How is the "average" 50-55 cents per gallon when only 4 states have a state tax of 30 cents or higher and the federal tax is currently 18 cents across the board (non-diesel).

I suck at math, but you are off by a good 15-20 cents for the average.

And all states contribute to a sort of military -- what most folks don't realize the federal government does NOT foot 100% of all costs for all bases of all military forces in the country, the state pays some this cost too.

RE: H.R. 25
By mdogs444 on 5/6/2008 10:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
Federal + State + County (in some areas) + City/Local.

You don't really think that Federal & State are the only ones taxing the gasoline prices do you?

RE: H.R. 25
By Kougar on 5/6/2008 11:22:03 AM , Rating: 2
That's a valid point, for the lack of a better term there are various state "forces" that need state funding, however my point was and still is that New York doesn't need to expand their money coffers by taxing even more internet businesses that have no actual physical locations within their state, including Amazon. Doing so to pay for military funding is rather absurd.

Mdogs already answered, and basically that is correct. I have no idea where your numbers come from, but some of mine are from here They actually list a total 59.3 cent combined tax per gallon for the state of New York. Federal, State, County, and Municipal taxes will usually apply.

This should be a hot issue, because if New York gets away with it, then many more state legislatures are going to be seing giant green dollar signs and view this a quick source of additional funding for their own states.

RE: H.R. 25
By 325hhee on 5/7/2008 1:44:48 PM , Rating: 2
What pisses me off is the MTA had a surplus, all the sudden they're short on money and are claiming not having enough money for the upcoming budgets. They recently just raised the fares, and now there's talk of another fare hike. Yet in all of this, all the MTA top execs are still getting raises every year... AND!!!! They DRIVE TO WORK!!!

I hate the MTA with a passion, but living in NYC, driving is almost not an option, or a good one. Working in Manhattan, there's almost no parking, or the lots are going to ask you to take out a mortgage loan to rent a space for a year (exaggerating here). But it's expensive to park in the city if you can get a spot to begin with.

And that fat piece of crap that's the head of the MTAs union, Tousant (sp) wanted to make such a bold statement after the strike, was going to heraldly walk over the Brooklyn bridge, collapsed from his fatness, and had to be carried across the bridge as soon as he walked 20'

Living and working in NYC is expensive as hell. Everything we do gets taxed, taxes are high as is, and the last thing anyone needs is tax on internet purchases. And would someone please explain to me the justification of Mobile making over 1 bil in profits this first quarter past. Oil is going up, gas prices are going up, and we're paying for it an any way, yet Mobile profited 1 Billion.

Oh, and some have noticed, New Egg hiked up their shipping costs to $7, from $5.99 from $4.99 in the past 12 months It may have been as little as $3.99

RE: H.R. 25
By Polynikes on 5/6/2008 11:37:16 AM , Rating: 2
NY's taxes are high enough as it is (I live in NY), maybe they should work on fixing their current budget (or perhaps getting it passed on time for once) without adding new taxes to the equation.

RE: H.R. 25
By just4U on 5/6/2008 12:20:32 PM , Rating: 2
On the taxes for gas, and keeping up road infastructure.. Here's a good one.

I live in Canada and we've been paying a very specific tax on our gas since "I think" the 70s. Now this added tax was meant to go for road upkeep right? Well they've been merrily collecting this tax for oh I dunno 30-40 years but not keeping up with the roads.. and spending all that money they collected to boot! Finally comes time to do redo roads and such and some provinces are squeeling because they didn't have the money to fix their highways. So they raise taxes again, or go into a deficit or take much needed funds from other areas.

So much BS in that.. and the real sad thing is we've been paying those extra few cents for so long that few are even around today to say hey .. wait a minute we should have a huge nest egg for that!

RE: H.R. 25
By mdogs444 on 5/6/2008 9:03:12 AM , Rating: 2
Not quite, and your statement has two faults.

First, taxation as a whole is a way for the citizens to pay for what the government wants. And seeing as how the Democrats like higher taxes, they are most guilty in this area.

Second, the Fair Tax is a way to show the middle & upper class that the lower class is paying their fair share, instead of leaching off them. If you make 20k/yr, you probably pay nothing. If you make 40k/yr, you pay for both yourself and the 20k/yr guy.

I am all in favor of a flat sales tax. Everyone makes their own money, keeps it all (obviously minus your state & local taxes), then pays a high sales tax. People who have more money, spend more money, and thus pay more tax money. But we should all pay the same percentage. The guy who is working two jobs to save and get a head in life should not be penalized becuase the next guy is content without having an education and making enough just to get by while getting government assistance.

People need to quit talking about the "wealthy", and start realizing that there are people in the "wealthy" tax bracket who work 80-120hrs per week in 1, 2, or 3 jobs so they can retire early and get ahead in life.

RE: H.R. 25
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 9:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
Second, the Fair Tax is a way to show the middle & upper class that the lower class is paying their fair share, instead of leaching off them.
And if it was ever enacted, the very next day we'd hear whining on DT about how the poor are leeching off the "prebate." If you doubt this for a second, you're crazier than I thought.

RE: H.R. 25
By mdogs444 on 5/6/2008 10:43:29 AM , Rating: 2
Thats very true. However, I don't think there should be a "prebate" at all. My opinion is just a nationwide 20% (or around that) flat sales tax to all people. No prebates, no rebates, no capital gains tax, no food stamps, no social welfare policies, etc.

Everyone stands up on their own two feet, and make their own decisions on moving forward or backward.

RE: H.R. 25
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 11:02:31 AM , Rating: 1
Then why don't you say "national flat sales tax" instead of FairTax, which is understood to mean the actual proposed system called that?

It's like saying "I think we should go to the popular vote for Presidential elections," then later claiming that by "popular vote" you mean that each state gets one vote.

RE: H.R. 25
By mdogs444 on 5/6/2008 11:08:02 AM , Rating: 2
First, at the top - i was commenting on the posters view of a FairTax.

You will then notice in my 2nd or 3rd paragraph, the first line which reads:
I am all in favor of a flat sales tax.

RE: H.R. 25
By bpurkapi on 5/6/2008 12:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
Life without taxes is uncivilized. The only constant in life is Death and Taxes. The point is that your vision of a world where people stand on their own two feet won't work. I'd personally love that world, and would get by quite well, but other folks would do terrible. I'm a fiscal conservative, and first and foremost I see the current republican crop as worse than democrats, reason: republicans add to the debt, democrats raise taxes to actually pay for what they spend. The national sales tax would hurt the economy, because we are a consumer based economy that tax would cut consumer spending. A laptop that costs 20% more doesn't sound so attractive.

RE: H.R. 25
By namechamps on 5/6/2008 7:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
Hate to break it for you but you are already paying more than 20% taxes on that laptop.

First the company who makes the laptop gets taxed on their profit so they figure that into the margin so the "sales" price already includes the hidden cost of the corp taxes.

secondly remember FAIR TAX would replace current income tax so yes there would be a national sales tax and that would make prices higher but your take home income would be equally higher.

Look at it this way. If tomorrow you made 20% more income and prices of everything went up 20% are you better or worse off. I would say better off. If you spend 100% of your income you come out equal. Each % of your income you save is now "tax free". No complexity no rules, no IRA, paperwork, calculating basis when selling stock, figuring time frames between short term & long term capital gain. No decuding losses against gains, rolling losses forward calculating against next years returns.

Instead save (in form of cash in bank, CD, money market, stock, etc) = no taxes.
Spend = pay taxes.

RE: H.R. 25
By Drexial on 5/7/2008 9:50:39 AM , Rating: 2
ummmm, apparently you don't understand that money itself is worthless? its only value is in spending it. it doesnt matter when you spend or how you will always loose that 20%. If you manage to save up $1,000,000. When you spend it that money gets taxed the same as if you spent that money over time.

and if sales tax goes up 20% how do you think you'll be making 20% more income when the company you work for now has to spend an extra 20% on everything it buys for supplies.

As for the comment before about everyone should stand on their own two feet. when Education systems are dumbing down and loosing funding. When the popularized culture is drop out culture. When companies are moving jobs over seas to make share holders happy. Explain to my how you think everyone in the US is going to be employed.

I'll put it this way, you think there are an over abundance of jobs in the US. that companies are struggling to fill positions? I'm pretty sure each open job position receives at least 5-20 applications.

next time you go to the grocery store remember that without those people in those $15k a year jobs, that store wouldn't exist. I'm not sure if you realize. But without crapily paid workers, there would be no positions at the top.

RE: H.R. 25
By SilthDraeth on 5/6/2008 10:23:01 AM , Rating: 2
I do not have the answer, but...

The problem with a flat/ high sales tax is it does hurt lower income more than higher income. Obviously though the tax system needs to be redone. And unfortunately there is no real over site, and there is tons of programs that do not need to exist in the state they are in now.

RE: H.R. 25
By BansheeX on 5/6/2008 10:55:10 AM , Rating: 5
tax system needs to be redone.

The income tax simply needs to be abolished and our bloated government needs to lose some weight. Wanting to "redo" or "fiddle" with it implies that the government actually needs the money for something useful. In reality, the income tax is only something like 30% of what the federal government takes in, and if they didn't get it today they'd still have the same revenue as ten years ago (due to government growth since then). And the IRS is retarded anyway. Filling out elaborate forms, calculating deductions, paying for tax return software, getting randomly audited and intimidated because the IRS has an impossible task and must resort to fear to make sure everyone pays. It's just stupid.

Really, though, there's a tax nobody recognizes and is even more lucrative to government: inflation. They don't even have to tax you anymore or bother with the whole tax resistance thing, they can just do some legalized counterfeiting and call it a day. Two years later when it trickles down to you on it's way to becoming worth less from diluting current circulation, all the dummies will scratch their heads and blame mass price fixing or something and call for more government regulation. Gee, I wonder what will ultimately come of this...

RE: H.R. 25
By SilthDraeth on 5/16/2008 10:21:42 AM , Rating: 2
I just read this today. And you are spot on.

RE: H.R. 25
By glennpratt on 5/6/2008 10:44:16 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with a high sales tax is the massive insentive to make sales without disclosing them to the government. Not just because you don't want to pay taxes, but also because most people don't document every private sale and calculate taxes.

The black/gray market will explode and it's an enforcement nightmare. The government trying to enforce a massive sales tax would probably make people look back fondly on the IRS.

RE: H.R. 25
By phil126 on 5/6/2008 11:09:26 AM , Rating: 2
There is the flaw in the sales tax. That weathy people spend more oney than poor. Look at it this way. The top 5% have more than 90% of the wealth. There is no way for 1 million people to spend more than 100 million people. Even though they have more more money than those 100 million people. Wealthy people will buy more expensive items but but not vey many of them. A tax base like most profits in the corporate world come from quantity of sales. People need to realize that capital tends to condense in a free market system not distribute. That is what Marx complained about. I am not saying that I like socialism just pointing out how a free market behaves.

RE: H.R. 25
By Ringold on 5/6/2008 10:59:14 PM , Rating: 2
Eh, income is a flow, spending is a flow. The difference is in the relative efficiency of taxing each flow, and the 'fairness', as judged by the unwashed masses. The end effect, however, needn't be much different. Note the Prebate.

The only way to get at the issue you raise would be a wealth tax. That could be done at time of death, but beyond that, it's pretty hard to do.

I also question the notion the 'rich' wouldn't spend more to compensate. Even throwing out all the studies conducted for the FairTax that suggest it just aint so, well.. do you know any wealthy folk? Certainly, some get there by way of being efficient spenders, but there are plenty from whom money flows like water. Britney Spears spends more in a month than most people probably make in a couple years, and a large number of 'wealthy' people really have almost zero savings.

RE: H.R. 25
By JonnyDough on 5/8/2008 11:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. What we need is to tax the rich, not the poor. How can the poor ever become rich if they're over taxed? Taxation should be for SERVICES TO THOSE IN NEED. I suggest that in the good old spirit of Robin Hood I say we begin to protest for a new government. I for one am tired of being robbed by it.

RE: H.R. 25
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 8:37:40 AM , Rating: 2
Even if the FairTax was a good idea it would still have nothing to do with this, as it stacks on top of state taxes. In fact, if I remember correctly, it would tax the amount you paid on taxes, too.

RE: H.R. 25
By Alexstarfire on 5/6/2008 9:46:23 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, it would have EVERYTHING to do with this. The state politicians are obviously upset over the fact that people don't file the out-of-state purchases they make. With the FairTax everything would get taxed, even online purchases. It'd be like the VAT they have in the UK, or is it Great Britain only?

RE: H.R. 25
By BMFPitt on 5/6/2008 10:02:04 AM , Rating: 2
As noted, everything would get taxed by the federal government. This article is discussing a state tax. The federal government taking their cut does nothing to put money in NY's pocket.

RE: H.R. 25
By namechamps on 5/6/2008 7:26:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it has NOTHING to do with Article.

Old "legal" system.
Income tax -> Federal Goverment
NY Sales Tax -> Can't be changed to online Merchants w/o nexus.
Result: Federal gets income tax. NY = $0.

New "likely illegal" system.
Income tax -> Federal Goverment
NY Sales Tax -> "Um yeah we collect from Amazon & stuff".
Result: Federal gets income tax. NY = sales tax.

Fair Tax
Income Tax -> gone
Federal Sales Tax -> Federal Goverment
NY Sales Tax -> depends on if NY new "rule" is declared illegal.

NY isn't worried that not enough people are paying FEDERAL taxes. FAIR TAX simply would change the method FEDERAL GOVERMENT collects FEDERAL TAXES. It would change NOTHING about how NY or any other state or local goverment collects taxes.

Next up!
By unbaisedgamer on 5/6/08, Rating: -1
RE: Next up!
By straycat74 on 5/6/2008 8:37:53 AM , Rating: 2
If you think it is valid to charge to send an e-mail, than I guess you would be ok to just pay per click for each website you visit, or by how much bandwith you use, like a cell phone. You can pay per bit. Friggin' brilliant.

RE: Next up!
By cscpianoman on 5/6/2008 9:20:22 AM , Rating: 3
Comcast would love it!

RE: Next up!
By Davelo on 5/6/2008 9:48:11 PM , Rating: 2
Why not? The way it is now, I have to pay for pirates who download free movies.

RE: Next up!
By spluurfg on 5/7/2008 7:41:39 AM , Rating: 2
Nonetheless, I think you can bank on the fact that said pirates would find a way to send/receive free emails and carry on downloading free movies.

RE: Next up!
By 306maxi on 5/6/2008 9:21:33 AM , Rating: 4
Reminds me of all those emails you used to get back in the 90's.

Bill Gates is looking at charging for every email sent. Send this email to 100 friends will Bill's email adress CC'ed in to stop this from happening. Plus he'll send you $10 for every email address you send it to. It really works! I got my cheque just 2 weeks after I sent the email off!

Seriously how stupid are people?

RE: Next up!
By Alexstarfire on 5/6/2008 9:49:55 AM , Rating: 2
While I understand why many people would hate this, to me it seems like it would do a lot more good than it would harm. Course, this would only work if the entire world implemented it. Wouldn't do much good if only the US implemented this system as I doubt every piece of SPAM originates in the US.

Can't speak for every one, but I don't send that much email. Like I already said, it's not that I'd enjoy having to pay, but if it gets rid of all my spam mail, then I think it's worth it.

RE: Next up!
By straycat74 on 5/6/2008 10:01:10 AM , Rating: 2
They do have software for that stuff, outlook works pretty good by itself.

RE: Next up!
By Tegeril on 5/6/2008 9:23:51 PM , Rating: 3
People who think a) that an email tax would help or b) that it is even an implementable concept have no idea how email works.

RE: Next up!
By JonnyDough on 5/8/2008 11:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
Furthermore, we'd just start pirating emails and more chaos, lawmaking, lawsuits, prison terms, etc would ensue. It's not really all that beneficial to tax certain things.

I know many of you will disagree, but taxing cigarettes was probably the best idea in the history of the world. The tax helps to cover to pay for all the medical bills of those dying of lung cancer, emphysema, and heart disease which are often smoking related.

Sure it isn't directly forwarded to MedicAid or MediCare, but when you use a tax to cover one cost, it allows funds to be used for something else.

By taxing cigarettes higher, many quit smoking, and so not only did it earn revenue for the government, it saved a few pennies too.

RE: Next up!
By just4U on 5/6/2008 12:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't like the idea of charging for emails. It would NOT cut down on spam.. they'd just locate someplace else and bombard you from there. A good example is the anti spam regulations some places have. In theory it's a good idea but hard to regulate when that spam is coming out of say .. China.

RE: Next up!
By rudy on 5/6/2008 2:00:40 PM , Rating: 2
When people do not pay you cut off their connection eventually when they cannot connect from anywhere in China the Chinese government will finally step in as much of their needed communication means is completely shut down. The real problem with such laws is due to spoofing and trojans and other viruses, who sent the email is not always apparent and the wrong person could be getting charged. Until that is worked out nothing will happen. You can stop the whole relocating junk real fast if you implement harsh measures to disconnect IPs, subnets, or entire countries if they do not bother to help solve the problem.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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