Print 50 comment(s) - last by shaidorsai.. on Apr 27 at 8:32 AM

It even won backing from U.S. President Barack Obama

Legislation for the collection of online sales taxes took a major step forward in a Senate vote Monday evening. 

The legislation -- known as the Marketplace Fairness Act -- scored a big victory in a procedural vote of 74-20 Monday night. It even won backing from U.S. President Barack Obama. 

The Marketplace Fairness Act allows states to force out-of-state retailers to collect online sales taxes. Currently, states can only require merchants within their borders to collect sales taxes.

The legislation offers an exemption for merchants that generate less than $1 million in annual out-of-state revenue.

"It will level the playing field for local small business retailers who are undercut every day by out-of-state on-line companies," said Jay Carney, White House spokesman. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed a motion in support of the new bill last Thursday. 

Many states are in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act because the money from sales tax collection could help with financial deficits. For instance, the California Board of Equalization said it made $96.4 million in sales tax on internet commerce from September-December 2012, which is the first full quarter that the state started collecting.

Brick-and-mortar stores are also happy with the legislation, since stores like Wal-Mart and Best Buy have complained about the unfair advantage online retailers like Amazon have when it comes to the lack of sales tax collection in certain states. 

However, not everyone is in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) strongly opposes the legislation, and plans to fight it until the end. 

"This is big retailers and big business lining up to put burdens on the Internet for small online business," said Ayotte. "It is so wrong and it is a precursor to other things they will try to grab using the Internet, including taxing the Internet."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said that he would comply with sales tax collection if there were some sort of federal legislation regarding the topic. It has been fighting U.S. states that force it to collect sales tax for years (except in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota and Washington). Only recently has it started collecting in additional states (like Texas and New Jersey, for example). But in return, Amazon gets to create more distribution centers within these state's borders. 

Source: The New York Times

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Is this even a surprise?
By BRB29 on 4/23/2013 7:47:58 AM , Rating: 5
Politicians created massive debts
Politicians creates more ways to tax people to pay off debt
Politicians sees money and spend it instead of paying off debt
Politicians created massive debts
....and so on and so on

And please save the drama about Obama spending us to oblivion. I wish it was just him so we can someone to point the finger to but most or all politicians are to blame.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By Da W on 4/23/2013 7:53:12 AM , Rating: 2
People hire accountants to hide money from taxes.
Corporations hide money offshore to hide money from taxes.
People buy on amazon to save money from taxes.
Government pile on huge debt.
Is it a surprise?

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By othercents on 4/23/2013 8:24:28 AM , Rating: 4
While both statements, for Politicians spending more and causing more debt to the country and Citizens hiding their money to keep from paying taxes, are true, I see this bill more of a change due to the market shifting from local to internet businesses. The original tax law was created when there was limited interstate commerce, but now you could purchase almost anything this way and avoid the tax.

FYI. Sales Tax is a State and Local Tax, which is where they get the majority of their money. 7 states collect no income tax and only collect sales tax. New Hampshire collects neither.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By ebakke on 4/23/2013 11:13:14 AM , Rating: 3
New Hampshire collects neither.
NH doesn't collect personal income tax. But it does collect corporate income tax. Alaska does the same thing. No personal income, no sales, yes to corp income.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By Samus on 4/23/2013 11:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
Oregon, New Hampshire, Delaware, Montana and Alaska all don't collect sales tax.

These states also have high corporate presence, above average economies and above average quality of life in comparison to many other states. Three of them are also incredibly wealthy states with huge surpluses.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By Phoenix7 on 4/23/2013 4:01:02 PM , Rating: 2
I thought new Hampshire had the highest suicide rate for a state? Could be wrong

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By ebakke on 4/23/2013 9:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
NH is tied for 18th. Top 10:

Rank---State---Deaths---Rate per 10k people
1---Wyoming [M] (4)---131---23.2
2---Alaska [P] (1)---164---23.1
3---Montana [M] (2)---227---22.9
4---Nevada [M] (5)---547---20.3
5---New Mexico [M] (3)---413---20.1
6---Idaho [M] (11T)---290---18.5
7---Oregon [P] (9)---685---17.9
8---Colorado [M] (6)---865---17.2
8---South Dakota [WNC] (25T)---140---17.2
10---Utah [M] (15T)---473---17.1
10---Arizona [M] (8)---1,093---17.1
18---New Hampshire [NE] (29T)---196---14.9

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By BRB29 on 4/23/2013 9:16:39 AM , Rating: 3
Economy still has not recovered and low GDP
Politicians sequestrated hundreds of thousands of federal employees to reduce spending but ended up reducing GPD, hurt local businesses tied with government, drastically reduced spending on a large number of people. Sequestration did not affect politicians but they did takes weeks and weeks of recess(vacations) fully paid.
Economy stops recovering and another hiring freeze had occurred.
Politicians sees low GPD, less tax revenue and need to raise more money.
Politicians finds more ways to tax and increase tax.
Makes tax on the one part of the economy that still creates jobs and growth.
Economy goes into further recession.
Economy still has not recovered and low GDP
Politicians sequestrated hundreds of thousands of federal employees again
Economy stops recovering and another hiring freeze again....
....and so on and so on.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By RedemptionAD on 4/23/2013 12:23:09 PM , Rating: 3
The government is the one that made the loopholes that enables those tactics.
The don't want to fix said loopholes or adjust the tax code so it is "firm, but fair".
They pile on huge debt that they will essentially leave future generations to pay for, and one way or the other it will have to be paid.
They did it to themselves.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By CZroe on 4/24/2013 12:27:51 AM , Rating: 2
You said it: Loopholes.

It still bugs me that online sales are considered any different than mail-order/phone sales. Online sales are just mail-order sales with the benefit of not needing a paper catalog or a cable shopping channel to show their wares and there's no need to call or mail in an order form.

Whether you are for or against taxing Amazon sales and the like, the debate should be over taxing out-of-state sales regardless of how the order was placed or if the Internet was involved. Don't threaten to tax one and not all.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By Dr of crap on 4/23/2013 7:56:29 AM , Rating: 1
YES - ALL POLITICANS are to blame - no ONE party is above spending and taxing to much.
But you can't make a lot of people SEE this!

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By KCjoker on 4/23/2013 5:53:59 PM , Rating: 2
It's true both parties are to blame...However anyone that can't see that the Dems want to tax us more and spend FAR more than Repubs are blind. It's a simple case that Repubs are horrible and Dems are sadly worse.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By BRB29 on 4/23/2013 10:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
There's no such things as a political party that wants people to pay less taxes. That's an oxymoron because the only reason these people have their jobs and influence is because we pay taxes. Without taxes, the government cannot function and therefore has no power.

The only time taxes are lowered is to stimulate economic growth or enough people calling out BS tax laws.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By OoklaTheMok on 4/23/2013 9:10:41 AM , Rating: 3
Its funny... People want our government to do things, but they don't ever want to pay for it.

Does anyone even realize that these are state taxes, and not some sort of new federal tax? So I don't quite grasp the references to Obama and how that even applies.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By BRB29 on 4/23/2013 9:28:33 AM , Rating: 3
This may be state taxes but it's at a federal level in the Senate. This is not the way to go to recover from a recession.

In a recession/depression, the government is supposed to bite the bullet and increase spending, decrease taxes, create jobs, work on infrastructure for economic growth. Fed Reserve is supposed to decrease interest rates, increase money supply, and maybe(probably not) change reserve ratios.
These are basic macro economics principles.

Instead we got increase in tax, sequestration, hiring freeze, even less money invested in infrastructure.

It has been done in the past and we have recovered from much worse recessions/depression. WTF are these politicians thinking? that they know better than what history has taught us over and over again?

Seriously, the government should be doing huge public projects like laying fiber optics across the nations. Linking every cities with high speed train tracks. Improving our water systems, electric grids, sewage/waste disposal systems, recyling systems, etc...
These are all things we need in the near future that will boost our economy. No, we'd rather have people sitting around collecting unemployment.

SMH, and honestly it's all because of the party systems. It's a drama fest instead of getting results for the country.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By superflex on 4/23/2013 1:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
I'd like to know how a tax bill gets originated in the Senate. The Constitution states all tax bills must originate in the House.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By OoklaTheMok on 4/23/2013 3:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
In a recession/depression, the government is supposed to bite the bullet and increase spending, decrease taxes, create jobs, work on infrastructure for economic growth.

In my state, we have to have a balanced budget. We can't spend money we don't have. This leads to a stupid feast/famine cycle because we are dependent on consumer activity to fund our state government operations and we don't have personal income taxes to provide some semblance of revenue stability. We can't go into deficit spending to pay for things. Collecting all applicable sales taxes seems like a no-brainer to me.
This legislation is at the federal level, because states don’t have the authority to unilaterally collect taxes across state lines. Federal law needs to change in order to permit this, which is why this is in the Senate.

It has been done in the past and we have recovered from much worse recessions/depression.

Um… when? The great depression is the only previous economic period that was worse than what we had to endure starting in 2008, and that recovery was much more painful and drawn out than what we have right now.

Huge projects should have been done at the beginning, but because states over inflated their lists of “shovel ready” projects, and conservatives dragged their feet and demanded a more laissez-faire economics approach, we got what we did.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By PontiusP on 4/23/2013 1:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
No, we don't want our government to do things. Especially things like this:

We have an out of control welfare state which feeds the parasitic rich at the top, as well as the lazy, stupid, parasitic leeches at the bottom.

So no, I don't want my government to "do things", and I'm sick and tired of having to pay for this crap.

Wake up!

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By OoklaTheMok on 4/23/2013 3:26:21 PM , Rating: 2
So because a city government does something stupid, that was apparently 20 years in the making, we shouldn’t expect government (city/state/federal) to do anything. I guess then you think it was a good thing then that we didn’t waste any money on OSHA inspectors. I’m sure the people in West, Texas will totally agree with you on that.

I trust then that you will do your part to avoid using any of the paved roads you despise so much.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By PontiusP on 4/23/2013 6:10:02 PM , Rating: 2
You use the usual "you want roads, don't you?!?" strawman argument that every liberal welfare state pumper uses.

Look at the expenditures of every level of government, a minuscule portion actually goes toward infrastructure development. The bulk of the money goes toward crap like the article I linked mentions, yet you casually dismiss it as a one off event. No, these aren't one off projects, they are long term systemic problems with an out of control welfare state that is sucking the taxpayer dry.

Cease projects like that and I'll be happy to pay internet taxes. But as long as fraud, waste and abuse like that continues at the hands of progressive do-gooders, then I won't be supporting any additional taxes. Ditto that for government employees making 2, 3, 4... 800k per year as well.

RE: Is this even a surprise?
By shaidorsai on 4/27/2013 8:32:03 AM , Rating: 2
The only thing I want government to do is stop spending money they have to borrow to use and stay out of my life.

Federal Government doesn't "do" anything for me except national defense...and I don't want it to either.

How long until?
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/23/2013 8:32:46 AM , Rating: 3
How long will it take the big online retailers (amazon, newegg, etc) to move to Mexico or Canada to avoid this tax?

RE: How long until?
By OoklaTheMok on 4/23/2013 9:01:09 AM , Rating: 2
Obviously because shipping costs would be less than the taxes that would be collected... I don't think you really thought that one through.

RE: How long until?
By SublimeSimplicity on 4/23/2013 9:17:25 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sure shipping companies, who make a good percentage of their income from e-retailers, wouldn't be consulted on the new location.

RE: How long until?
By OoklaTheMok on 4/23/2013 9:25:43 AM , Rating: 2
So you really think that there is a "magical" border location that would somehow negate the costs and burdens of shipping large volumes of goods over the border? Where do you think such a place would exist?

RE: How long until?
By xti on 4/23/2013 10:22:44 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, not sure how a international headquarters address would work with local hubs doing the distribution.

but if you had to pay an office in canada?

RE: How long until?
By Digimonkey on 4/23/2013 9:03:14 AM , Rating: 2
That's very unlikely. Fast and cheap shipping is one of the most important things in the e-retailer business. The first one to move out the country would face a serious decline in sales.

RE: How long until?
By tayb on 4/23/2013 10:18:41 AM , Rating: 2
This is a tax on customers, not corporations.

RE: How long until?
By Spookster on 4/23/2013 5:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
That is true however the tax is only required if the company is based in the U.S.

This isn't rocket science
By GeekWithFire on 4/23/2013 8:42:55 AM , Rating: 4
"As government expands, liberty contracts." - Ronald Reagan

We don't need another way to help us continue to spend more. We need to spend less. It really is that simple.

By TacticalTrading on 4/23/2013 9:00:58 AM , Rating: 2
RE: This isn't rocket science
By OoklaTheMok on 4/23/2013 9:19:27 AM , Rating: 2
I don't quite think you understand the statements you have made. Reagan is the president who really started large scale deficit spending. He also raised taxes. So I find it odd that you reference a past President who did the opposite of what you would prescribe.

RE: This isn't rocket science
By TacticalTrading on 4/23/2013 4:38:47 PM , Rating: 3
One of his campaign slogans was something to the effect: The nine scariest words you will ever hear, 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'

"He also raised taxes" Do you seriously believe that? Reagan cut marginal rates from 70% to 35%. In fact, that was one of his main objectives and reasons for becoming president. Yes, later in his years, rates did rise from his initially very low levels, but to this day remains significantly below the rates of the stagnate 70's.

In addition: Despite the huge tax cuts he initially enacted, Federal revenue expanded rapidly while he was in office. Why, because the economy expanded rapidly.

Most of what the government does today is take something from one group of people, then politicians and their friends take a cut, and then give the rest to a group of people they want to vote for them.

The economic efficiency theory of Govt: (101) If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. If it stops moving, subsidize it.

The Economic problem today is the Federal Government. And until the Federal Government gets out of the way, the US Economy isn't going to grow very fast.
But that doesn't bother the current administration. In fact, they want things to suck. They want you miserable, so you will vote for them to "fix" it. Of course, the "fix" is really a new plan to concentrate more power in Washington.

If you are young, when your health care premiums double next year; remember, it is what you voted for. And you will have less of your money to spend and the economy will suffer. Why, because today, Government IS the problem.

RE: This isn't rocket science
By shaidorsai on 4/27/2013 8:29:15 AM , Rating: 2
Good luck trying to overcome Liberal brainwashing and lies with facts. Liberals don't care about history or facts...

Small business accounting nightmare
By wingless on 4/23/2013 9:33:18 AM , Rating: 1
This will be an accounting nightmare for small online businesses. Imagine having to keep track of individual buyers by state and abide by their particular local sales tax rates. This will destroy a lot of businesses. Democrats are idiots and Republicans are bigots. I can't stand either party! Libertarians are the only ones making sense nowadays.

By PontiusP on 4/23/2013 1:15:43 PM , Rating: 2

Actually, libertarians are the only ones who have made sense for a very, very long time. Almost every single big government policy has been a complete failure that we'd be better off without. But, people still hang onto their sacred cows.

By Rukkian on 4/23/2013 3:15:01 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't this actually more of a libertarian idea - letting states enforce their own laws?

By th3pwn3r on 4/23/2013 4:33:47 PM , Rating: 2
I read something along the lines of those that made less than $1,000,000 would be exempt from this.

States Desperate for Revenue
By Jim Vanus on 4/23/2013 11:47:35 AM , Rating: 2
States are desperate for revenue because they can't print money like the federal government. County and local governments face the same situation.

Whether federal, state, county or local: Governments are unable to shrink, unable to spend less, unable to rid themselves of graft & corruption, and will not be held financially accountable.

For example, in my own state:
- The most populated county in my state declared bankruptcy due to mismanagement.
- The previous mayor of the largest city is in prison due to corruption convictions.
- My hometown went millions of dollars over budget on a new jail and no one was held accountable.

Taxing Internet sales is just the beginning as state, county and local governments scramble to establish more revenues to replace the ones (such as sales & real estate taxes) that have been reduced by the declining economy.

Once these new taxes are enacted, they will never be undone. Looks like we are bound to learn the hard way what happens when uncontrollable government burdens its citizens past the breaking point.

RE: States Desperate for Revenue
By Rukkian on 4/23/2013 3:13:53 PM , Rating: 2
This is not a new tax. This is closing a loophole. Everybody was already supposed to be paying these taxes, it was just difficult for a state (or local government) to figure out how much you owe and for what.

RE: States Desperate for Revenue
By Jim Vanus on 4/24/2013 12:52:59 PM , Rating: 2
It will be a new tax for me and for many others across the country. One reason I buy online is the lack of sales tax on such purchases in my state. The reality is that I will be paying more in taxes if this law passes.

I realize that there are "fairness" arguments in favor of this tax, but it will still be a tax that many of us are not currently paying.

My main point is that all levels of government are hungry for increased revenue and will be creating new taxes and increasing existing ones until the economy stagnates or even rapidly declines.

It even won backing from Obama?
By TheJian on 4/23/2013 11:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
That's a joke right? This guy believes in two things: Spending more money than you have until we break, and taxing us to death while doing it.

He will never turn down a tax hike.

It's almost comic that he called GWB UN-American for spending so much. He'll spend more than all presidents before him before his term ends. You are all witnessing the destruction of america, and the half that voted for this fool deserve this. Actually I shouldn't call him a fool. He knows exactly what he's doing. Break America and put us at the mercy of the UN etc. They want to control your guns, tax you to death etc. His plan is working brilliantly so far :( Just a few more trillion and we'll be unable to recover without ditching the dollar. When that happens he'll steal all your gold too...LOL. If you buy over $500 in gold they know you have it thanks to passing a law so they know where it's all at when they bankrupt the dollar. If you think your gold is safe in a bank YOU are a fool. There is a reason why Russia, Germany and China are taking their gold back to their own country.

They have confiscated all the gold before, and they'll do it again if they know you have it. Google this:
gold confiscation

FDR did it in ~1933 or so if memory serves...Roaring 20's gave way to a tax and spender (just like obama) and took all personal gold. Better buy under $500 and bury it in your yard....LOL
"Franklin D Roosevelt, under Presidential Executive Order number 6102, confiscated all privately held Gold in the United States on April 5, 1933."
Googled it for you :)
There are tons of sites that report it, no favorite here it just came up in the top 10.

RE: It even won backing from Obama?
By Rukkian on 4/23/2013 3:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
I am not sure what you do not get. This is not a new tax! This is not a federal tax in any way. This is allowing the states to collect the taxes they are already entitled to, and people should already be paying. This is helping to close a loophole that most people are using to avoid paying taxes.

You may have an axe to grind against Obama, but this really has nothing to do with him. This is actually closer to a libertarian principle - Give the states the power to enforce their laws.

Le sigh
By brshoemak on 4/23/2013 4:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
Just a note for those bickering about Democrats/Republicans/Obama/BigBadGov't/etc.:


You're supposed to go through all your receipts when tax time rolls around, calculate and then pay the appropriate sales tax for your online purchases. However, I can count on zero fingers how many people actually did that. Why should they when it was such a major PITA?

Even if the recession didn't happen, even if Romney was in the White House, even if we were all rich, even if there were budget surpluses - this would still have happened eventually. Therefore, this soap-boxing is not necessary or warranted.

Do I want to pay taxes on internet purchases? Hellz No! I live off Amazon Prime BUT I also knew that this free ride would end eventually. It's pointless to shout about whoever you wish to blame, these wheels were set in motion long ago.

RE: Le sigh
By Jim Vanus on 4/24/2013 12:59:44 PM , Rating: 2
True. Sad, but true.

Protectionism for the new age
By Paj on 4/23/2013 8:54:41 AM , Rating: 3
But the invisible hand solves EVERYTHING

Its the economy stupid
By Ammohunt on 4/23/2013 9:14:33 AM , Rating: 2
The Democrats have never come across a tax plan they didn't like. The Republicans seem to like to go lock step with the Democrats..tell me again whats the difference between parties?

Congress just loves to pile on job killing measures in the down economy all the while saying the economy is making a recovery! I am convinced they want this economy to fail, they want America to fail.

By DaveLessnau on 4/23/2013 10:31:13 AM , Rating: 2
Um, of course it won backing from Obama. He's a liberal Democrat. He's never seen a bill to raise taxes that he didn't like.

By rs2 on 4/23/2013 10:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
The legislation -- known as the Marketplace Fairness Act -- scored a big victory in a procedural vote of 74-20 Monday night. It even won backing from U.S. President Barack Obama.

Obama's position is irrelevant. Even if he vetoed, the act has enough support to pass anyways.

If you want to call someone out for supporting this, start with the "conservative" senators who backed it. They're the ones who are supposed to oppose expanding Federal government. If they all did their job, Obama's position would still be irrelevant and the bill would not pass.

Also, no new taxes!

By shaidorsai on 4/27/2013 8:24:22 AM , Rating: 2
"It will level the playing field for local small business retailers who are undercut every day by out-of-state on-line companies," said Jay Carney, White House spokesman.

Once again a complete and utter lack of understanding of basic business principles by the Dems shows itself in broad daylight.

Name a small business that doesn't have an online footprint and I will show you a business owner who doesn't understand current business models and wont be around long.

There will be NO benefit to ANY business by placing tax's on top of online commerce. Online retailers already have to cover shipping costs the brick and mortar crowd doesn't due to walk in shoppers...duh.

This is nothing but another example of the Dems and their motto, "I have never seen a dollar I didn't want to take from someone who earned it and spend it on something stupid".

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki