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  (Source: Stuart Isett/The New York Times )
Amazon says these sales taxes are "unconstitutional and counterproductive"

Amazon has fully committed itself to its effort against the collection of sales taxes, and it continues to prove this dedication over and over as it cuts ties with state after state.

After cutting ties with states like Texas, where Texas State Comptroller Susan Combs charged Amazon $269 million in unpaid sales taxes, and Illinois, where Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) plans to introduce a bill that would force Amazon to collect sales tax called the Main Street Fairness Act, Amazon is now looking to turn its back on California as well after Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that would enforce the collection of online sales tax. 

"We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive," said Amazon in an e-mail to Californian affiliates. "It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. As a result, we will terminate contracts with all California residents that are participants in the Amazon Associates Program as of the date (if any) that the California law becomes effective."

Amazon also noted that these sales taxes "spur job and income losses." But Amazon has to do what it feels it should do, and with this bill in place, Amazon won't think twice about cutting ties with its 10,000 California-based sales affiliates.

Amazon is the largest online retailer with more than 90 million registered buyers and $34 billion in annual sales. In recent times, it has encountered increased pressure from certain U.S. states to collect online sales taxes since the retailer's affiliates operate within those states. In addition, some U.S. states see an online sales tax on Amazon purchases as a way of digging themselves out of large state budget deficits. 

But Amazon refuses to back down. Last month, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the U.S. states' demands were unconstitutional, citing a 1992 Supreme Court decision that excuses Amazon and other remote sellers from having to collect taxes in U.S. states that do not have the company's employees or warehouses operating within its borders. 

As of right now, Amazon collects taxes in Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota and Washington. In other U.S. states where Amazon does not collect sales taxes, customers are to document and pay tax on out-of-state untaxed sales, but rarely do because they either don't know about this or just don't care.

Brick-and-mortar stores like Best Buy and Wal-Mart retaliated saying that Amazon has an unfair advantage due to its lack of sales tax collection in other states.



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As always...
By Motoman on 6/30/2011 12:10:02 PM , Rating: 5
...this is exactly the correct action for Amazon to take.

When you disagree with a law in a given area, you don't get to ignore it because you don't like it. You leave.

Amazon has "left" CA. Bravo. Exactly what they should have done.

If a federal law is made that enforces sales tax collection on interstate commerce, then that's fine. Otherwise states are just going to have to figure out their own problems with use taxes...and not try to make private business fix their problems for them.

Of course, ultimately, the sales tax isn't the issue. That's not why Amazon, Newegg, Monoprice et al are wiping the floor with BBY, Wal-Mart, etc. Even in the areas where online stores have to charge sales tax, like Newegg does in NJ, they still whomp the B&M competition. Because the prices are still better, and they still provide better service and better convenience. Hence, even if the fed passed a law requiring sales tax on interstate commerce tomorrow, the status quo wouldn't even budge.




RE: As always...
By Dr of crap on 6/30/2011 12:35:24 PM , Rating: 4
MAYBE the states, mine included, should cut spending!
Radical idea, I know. If my family were short that much money we'd SPEND LESS, not look for a hand out from our neighbors.

I just find the wastefull spending that just keeps going on ridiculious, and needs to be stopped. And before you post it let me say that I'd take less help from our state if the spending were reduced. Thing is I and MY FAMILY DON'T relie on state money to survive, like some do.

I applaud Amazon for doing this.


RE: As always...
By Adonlude on 6/30/2011 2:10:48 PM , Rating: 2
How can we cut spending when we live in the entitlement society that we do? Everybody has their hand out begging for government freebies. Nobody that threatens the entitlements can get elected.


RE: As always...
By lagomorpha on 6/30/2011 3:11:51 PM , Rating: 4
Democracy isn't really sustainable in a society in which the education system has failed. We need to either find a way to force a quality education on everyone, limit voting rights to people with a reasonable grasp of math, science, and history, or give up on democracy.


RE: As always...
By geddarkstorm on 6/30/2011 3:31:26 PM , Rating: 5
It's not simply education, in the sense of factoids and raw knowledge, that's failed; it's morality and ethical foundations that are now lacking and killing our society.

And I don't mean high minded moralities/ethics, like don't drink alcohol, or wear these kind of clothes not these other kinds, etc. I'm talking about personal responsibility, compassion, consideration, patience, and a sense of the greater good instead of solely shortsighted, selfish ambition.

Welfare can be a type of compassion, but only if it is working right, where selfish people aren't feeding off of it without a care in the world; but instead using it as it was intended for temporary relief to allow job hunting and a return to productivity (that is, using it to help individuals for the greater good of society, not just their personal desires). It should be an emergency thing, not a life style, and certainly not a CULTURE as it's become in our society today. And this is part of why we're going down hill, rapidly.


RE: As always...
By lagomorpha on 6/30/2011 5:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
Well you could always tie some negative condition to receiving welfare in order to prevent it from being a self-sustaining culture. Mandatory contraception comes to mind.


RE: As always...
By kart17wins on 6/30/2011 7:41:36 PM , Rating: 2
I've always thought that a good negative condition would be that to collect welfare you have to sit with your kids in a cubicle lined warehouse for 8 hours a day (just like if you actually had a job) and do nothing. Nothing is allowed no tv, no radio, no reading material, no ipods etc. Nothing to do but listen to sniveling kids all day long.
I'll bet most people wouldn't be milking the system for long.
And for food stamps, you get bread, peanut butter and milk. We will not let you starve but we aren't going to let you buy a whatever junk you want either.


RE: As always...
By Alexvrb on 6/30/2011 10:05:00 PM , Rating: 2
They don't even use stamps anymore. They use EBT cards. A button pops up that says EBT just like the other buttons for Debit, Credit, etc. It's amazing just how much of the population is on some form of government aid.


RE: As always...
By Solandri on 7/1/2011 7:15:00 AM , Rating: 2
They're still abused. Well, I dunno if you can call it "abuse" since apparently it's completely legal to use them on non-essentials. As long as you don't turn around and try to sell what you buy.
http://www.snopes.com/photos/signs/receipt.asp


RE: As always...
By Alexvrb on 7/2/2011 10:14:31 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I am more than aware of the abuse. I wasn't saying the cards helped. In fact they make abuse even easier - now it's completely painless. Nobody would even know except you and the cashier. I personally know cases of abuse, people who technically qualify for and abuse the program, even though they don't need it. I mean shoot, they have more money than I do, a newer car, etc.


RE: As always...
By MrBungle123 on 7/1/2011 10:51:13 AM , Rating: 2
Random drug testing for ANY social services... you fail no more food stamps, HUD house, WIC vouchers, etc... if you have money for weed you have money to support yourself.


RE: As always...
By ekv on 7/2/2011 1:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
negative conditions

1) wear a sign/placard

2) have name printed in newspaper (as being on welfare)

3) be shown on TV (during the regular Government Costs Exposed segment)


RE: As always...
By Mr772 on 7/1/2011 9:50:06 AM , Rating: 2
Check yourself man the United States is a REPUBLIC!!


RE: As always...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/11, Rating: 0
RE: As always...
By Motoman on 6/30/2011 5:18:49 PM , Rating: 1
lol.

quote:
As I have already proven in past discussions, these taxes are 100% Unconstitutional.


I see what you did there. In the past, you've failed to argue that use taxes were "unconstitutional." Because you cant' see the difference between sales taxes and use taxes...and how use taxes don't violate interstate commerce laws.

But I'm not getting into that again - your failure on the topic is exhaustively documented here on DT. Just couldn't let you try to pull that fast one there...be a man and admit when you've failed.


RE: As always...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/2011 5:43:42 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Because you cant' see the difference between sales taxes and use taxes...and how use taxes don't violate interstate commerce laws.


There is none. You never once even attempted to explain this "difference". If the "use" tax is different than sales tax, then why is the "use tax" rate exactly the same as the states sales tax, Moto? A use tax is a sales tax with a different name, it's very creation was just to go around the Constitutional constraints placed on the practice.

Moto I'm honestly surprised you are taking that position. In so many other cases you seem to 'get it', but when it comes to this fictitious "use" tax you tow the big-gov line. I don't understand...

quote:
your failure on the topic is exhaustively documented here on DT.


Wow, really? I made strong arguments with TWO major Constitutional Articles to back up my position. You're counter is "uhh you're wrong because I said so".

quote:
But I'm not getting into that again


Well tough shit, because you just DID get into it again.


RE: As always...
By Motoman on 6/30/11, Rating: -1
RE: As always...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/2011 8:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
if use taxes were unconstitutional as you assert, it's reasonable to assume that ONE legal case would have been proven during the past decades in which every state in the union has had use taxes.


LOL brilliant logic. You know what, I can't find one legal case this decade where someone challenged the ruling on murder being illegal. So I guess by your logic, murder is legal!

It hasn't been challenged because hundreds of millions of Americans every year happily purchase items from the Internet, and practically none of them pay this "use tax" that you claim is so legally binding. In fact, if it's on such firm Constitutional ground, why is it so unenforced? You brought up precedence, fine, but isn't enforcement also a major part of the judicial system?

If all those people were suddenly prosecuted for breaking the "law", I guaran-damn-tee you that you WOULD see challenges then! And the states are fully aware of the shaky Constitutional ground on which their "use taxes" stand.

So in short, nobody challenges it Moto because nobody ever has to pay it anyway.

quote:
If your assertion was true, somewhere, someplace, sometime, someone would have gotten a use tax declared illegal. Hasn't ever happened, and that disproves your assertion right there.


Well then someone, somewhere, would be thrown in jail or fined for buying a DVD on Amazon and not paying the "use tax". Hasn't ever happened, and that disproves your assertion of them being legally binding and Constitutional.

quote:
A use tax puts both interstate and intrastate transactions under the SAME tax burden.


Show me in the Constitution where states were granted the right to pose a tax burden on interstate transactions? It's strictly prohibited!

quote:
I know exactly what you're trying to do...you're using that very definition to claim that the use tax *is* sales tax.


You're goddamn right I'm doing it, I already have.

quote:
As noted in responses to those post you made, you were citing an inapplicable section of federal law. Didn't apply. Therefore, you made no argument.


Wrong again. The Constitution is very clear on this. The Federal Government has sole power to regulate commerce between the states. If Congress enacted the "use taxes", my argument would be nullified and I would completely agree with you. But one fact is clear, states may not arbitrarily impose taxes and other economic barriers to out-of-state trade. Period. End of story.


RE: As always...
By Motoman on 6/30/2011 11:20:01 PM , Rating: 1
And this is why I didn't want to get into it again, and this is me getting out of it. Last time I'm going to attempt to educate you on this issue - because, like Pirks, you're evidently quite mentally deficient.

You're wrong. You're not a judge, you're not a legislator, you're not a lawyer, you're nobody. You're just some crackpot on the internet. There is nothing you've said that has any "value" at all. Nothing but the rantings of a true crackpot.

I don't like taxes. Nobody does. I don't like big government. I'm not passing judgement on whether or not it's "right" to have a use tax or not. Or any other tax. I'm simply pointing out the unassailable fact that if the slightest bit of your rant was correct, I can GUARAN-DAM-TEE you that *somebody* would have sued and gotten a judgement on it in the past, oh, 70 years or so - which is how long at least the CA use tax law has been on the books.

quote:
Show me in the Constitution where states were granted the right to pose a tax burden on interstate transactions? It's strictly prohibited!


It's not a tax burden on interstate transactions, because it's not levied on the vendor. It's levied on the resident of the state, and whether or not you agree with that as being "valid" in your world or not is of no value in this world. The real world. Your fantasy has no bearing on reality.

quote:
Wrong again. The Constitution is very clear on this. The Federal Government has sole power to regulate commerce between the states. If Congress enacted the "use taxes", my argument would be nullified and I would completely agree with you. But one fact is clear, states may not arbitrarily impose taxes and other economic barriers to out-of-state trade. Period. End of story.


Not even close. The burden, as I've pointed out, is on the resident of the state...which is why it doesn't violate the constitution. There is no even vaguely conceivable doubt about that inviolable fact. Your manufactured doubt based on your own personal preference has no value.

Think about this for a second...if buying out of state all the time well and truly exempted you from having to pay any tax...sales or use...why would you EVER buy anything in-state? You'd have to be a f%cking moron to do so...and the state would be f%cking stupid to encourage you to do that.

At any rate, you've done absolutely nothing but prove that you're a catastrophic failure of a human being for continuing to insist upon your maniacal little conspiracy theory here. I'm done with you, as should anyone with more than 2 synapses to click together. You're an absolute lost cause, and are worthy of no one's attention.


RE: As always...
By Reclaimer77 on 6/30/2011 11:40:01 PM , Rating: 2
You know I like you and usually agree with you, but maybe Yash is right about you. I certainly don't see how I've earned the considerable amount of insults this post has heaped on me. I know you like playing the Internet bully on here, but you can keep dreaming if you think that's going to work on me.

quote:
It's not a tax burden on interstate transactions, because it's not levied on the vendor.


The Constitution doesn't make any distinction between a vendor or an individual. There is none. "Taxes shall not..." is an ABSOLUTE statement. Do you know what absolutes are?

quote:
Think about this for a second...if buying out of state all the time well and truly exempted you from having to pay any tax...sales or use...why would you EVER buy anything in-state?


You're losing it here. You can't mail order EVERYTHING. And if you go to another state to buy goods, you'll still be taxed by their sales taxes. What does this have to do with anything?

quote:
Not even close. The burden, as I've pointed out, is on the resident of the state...which is why it doesn't violate the constitution.


So basically a Use Tax is a clever construct to collect sales taxes, without calling them sales taxes, and loosely enforced so as to not violate the Constitution...

How does this not prove the point I'm trying to make again?

quote:
You're wrong. You're not a judge, you're not a legislator, you're not a lawyer, you're nobody.


Ah the appeal to authority argument, one of the most fallacious methods used. You are neither of these things either, this doesn't make my arguments any less worthy of being expressed. And I AM someone, thank you very much.

By the way, fyi, there are MANY healthy debates all over the Internet over this issue. But I guess they are all "mentally deficient crackpot nobodies" too. I guess they didn't know Motoman already proclaimed the debate over, because HE said so.

Let me ask you something Moto, is there a name for this private little world you live on? What happens there when I don't just run away from your little tough guy act?


RE: As always...
By Alexstarfire on 7/1/2011 12:14:34 AM , Rating: 2
Watching/reading the argument between you and him was rather interesting. It seems a bit hypocritical of him to say that you're effectively nobody and hence should be ignored. He's a nobody as well and for him to think that his way of thinking/logic is any more valuable than yours is just stupid. Being an expert in an area is one thing, but that wouldn't make what they say any less true or false. People are just more apt to listen to what they have to say since they should have more knowledge on the subject. Trying to prove his point by badmouthing you is exactly what politicians do and is why the US is in such bad shape.

Anyway, it seems to me that based on what he say a use tax is is that it's basically a way to charge sales tax without actually imposing a sales tax. He says that the whole idea behind it is to set out of state companies on the same level as in-state ones. That in itself is almost exactly why it's probably unconstitutional. A proper use tax would tax both in-state AND out-of-state companies the same precisely because it is a use tax, and not based on sales, and wouldn't be discriminatory.

The only difference in the taxes is where the burden is places. Sales tax is on the company/vendor and a use tax is on all the individual consumers. Imposing a tax on every single individual is simply retarded. There is no way you could enforce something like that on every single person. However, if the federal government wanted out-of-state companies to be taxed the same as in-state companies then they would have allowed it.

Hopefully this simple logic is easy to follow.


RE: As always...
By Motoman on 7/1/2011 9:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
You have no logic.

It's not hypocritical for me to point out that he's nobody. I'm not the one making the outlandish, wildly radical claims. Me asserting that the law of the land for the past several decades is *legal* isn't exactly an earth-shaking proclamation. It's downright boring...blindingly obvious, as it were...I might as well be claiming that water is wet. To make such a bland, boring claim requires no special credentials...

...on the other hand, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. For which he has none...going so far as to claim that he is the only person who ever lived in this country in more than 70 years to "see clearly" the issue that he is ranting about. Really? Wow...you must be special indeed. But he's not...he has no credentials, no facts, just a crackpot theory.

AND HERE'S THE KICKER...THE ULTIMATE PROOF THAT HE IS WRONG: If he was right about use tax being unconstitutional, he'd be the greatest hero of the American people...ever. If he was right, he'd spend the *paltry* amount of money required to file a lawsuit...apparently win it in 5 minutes, according to him, and then he would become wildly popular and wildly rich. He'd make millions on the talk show circuit. Be a best seller with a book he commissioned someone else to write about it. Get all the hot chicks he could ever possibly want. Overnight he'd be more important to the American people than Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. Schoolchildren for the rest of eternity would learn his name in history class.

But he's not done any such thing. And never will. Because he knows he's wrong. He knows he'd be laughed out of the courtroom, and have been proven to be a moron in a court of law.

He'll make some claim about how he just doesn't care to do it, blah blah. Right - because he doesn't want to be rich. Doesn't want to be famous. Doesn't want his name to ring through the halls of eternity.

If he, or you, or anyone else wanted to go and do that...and therefore become rich and famous beyond your wildest dreams...you go on and do that.

If not, STFU and GTFO because your refusal to step up to the altar and accept your fame and fortune is tantamount to an admission of stupidity.


RE: As always...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/1/2011 12:34:12 PM , Rating: 2
You lose. This is the worst reasoning I have ever seen you use. It might work on Pirks or whoever, but it's not floating with me. To claim that someone needs to alter their life and file a motion in court to argue over the Internet is absolutely fallacious and, frankly, insane.

quote:
If he was right about use tax being unconstitutional, he'd be the greatest hero of the American people


Ahaha. Most Americans have no idea "use taxes" even exist because nobody has to pay them! Hero to the people!? Motoman you have lost it. Are you even thinking this through? Nobody cares!

quote:
If not, STFU and GTFO


I'm sorry, is this 1996 all over again? I think when you need to resort to 'leetspeak' ranting of this immaturity, that pretty much tells us what well your reasoning is springing from. He was just stating his opinion, he wasn't even part of this debate really, where do you get off speaking to him this way?


RE: As always...
By lightfoot on 6/30/2011 5:47:23 PM , Rating: 1
He never said that Use Taxes were unconstitutional.

He said that it is Unconstitutional for states to force out of state entities to act as taxing agents on their behalf.

Most states already have Use Taxes, the problem is that they don't enforce them. If a state can't even collect their own revenue properly and legally how can you expect them to do anything properly or legally.

States have broad power to tax the snot out of their own residents. What they don't have the power to do is to tax entities that are outside of their borders.


RE: As always...
By Motoman on 6/30/2011 6:54:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
He never said that Use Taxes were unconstitutional.


Yeah he did. And he just said it again. ^^

He has actually managed to delude himself into thinking that use taxes are illegal - and he provides inapplicable federal code to "support" it (and refuses to recognize that it's inapplicable), and he ignores the fact that there's no legal precedence to uphold his claim either.

Your other points are correct though. It would seem that you fully understand the use tax, and it's legality. Reclaimer doesn't, willfully so.


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