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Print 35 comment(s) - last by The Raven.. on Oct 15 at 12:39 PM


NC gonna get paid, privacy be damned
NC wants names, addresses, and products purchased for all NC amazon customers

One of the longest running battles between states and online sellers has been the desire for states to capture sales tax revenue on purchases made by its residents. As it is today, taxes are not automatically recovered by a company online unless it has a physical presence in the buyer's home state. State residents, however, are supposed to report these purchases on their state tax returns.

One of the states pressing the sales tax issue the hardest is North Carolina. NC filed a suit against online giant Amazon in April of 2010 seeking to recover what it claims to be $50 million in sales taxes that were not paid by citizens on purchases dating back to 2003. Amazon sued NC in an effort to block the request by the state for Amazon to turn over information about the buying habits of people living in NC on grounds that the information would violate the user's privacy.

Amazon and its customers in NC are getting some help in the legal suit by the ACLU with the group set to go to court this week in Seattle. The ALCU will fight the state's request for specifics on what NC customers purchased online, including names and addresses of the buyers. According to the NC Revenue Department, it, for example, is not seeking specifics about what book a customer purchased, but only wants to know if the customer purchased a book or a CD.

Amazon states that it has already provided the state with purchase details as requested without providing any information about what each of the customers actually purchased. Amazon says that if it turns over names and addresses of the NC residents who made purchases that the state would be able to link the buyer to a specific product purchased.

The ACLU wrote in a statement, "The American Civil Liberties Union will be in federal court in Seattle Wednesday, October 13 to argue that requests by the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) for detailed information about purchases made by Amazon.com customers are unconstitutional because they violate Internet users' rights to free speech, anonymity and privacy."



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RE: i wonder
By AlexWade on 10/14/2010 9:15:31 AM , Rating: 2
I have a better idea. BAN SALES TAXES! Problem solved. The only issue is governments which waste a lot of money, such as North Carolina, will cry the blues.

In North Carolina, the state raised the gas tax for a special account called the highway trust fund. Soon after, money was taken from the highway trust fund and made part of state's overall budget. Even after doing that, the state still had a budget shortfall. So several years later, the state started to push for an education lottery to help pay for schools. The lottery did succeed in passing, albeit illegally because the vote was taken when a chief opponent was unable to vote. The promise was that lottery money would add to the money the state gave to education. What happened was the lottery money replaced the money the state gave to education. And yet, the state still had a budget shortfall.

With such mismanagement, more money is never enough money. My home state is greedy and wasteful. The state's past administration and the current administration are being investigated for corruption. Some people have already served time in federal prison because of corruption. The corruption runs deep. If this state wasn't so corrupt and wasteful, it would not need any sales tax at all.


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