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Amazon To Collect Indiana Sales Tax In 2014 413

Posted by Soulskill
from the slowly-losing-the-war dept.
An anonymous reader writes with this quote from an Associated Press report: "Amazon.com will begin collecting Indiana's 7 percent sales tax from customers in the state in 2014, under an agreement announced Monday. ... Gov. Mitch Daniels' office said Indiana will become the fourth state with such a tax collection agreement with Seattle-based Amazon. It follows a lawsuit by Indianapolis-based shopping mall owner Simon Property Group against the state over the issue and a lobbying push on state legislators by traditional retailers to end what they call an unfair price advantage for online retailers. The deal doesn’t include any other companies, but Daniels said the state is asking Congress to require all online businesses to collect state sales taxes."
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Amazon To Collect Indiana Sales Tax In 2014

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  • Taxes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cyachallenge (2521604) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:20PM (#38658232)
    Well good for them. I don't really see a problem with this.
    • Re:Taxes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ClaraBow (212734) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:28PM (#38658294)
      Speak for yourself! I live in Indiana! Simon Property Group is a greedy company that have taken over many Malls across Indiana! I"m still going to shop online -- price and selection can not be beat!
      • Re:Taxes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 246o1 (914193) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:54PM (#38658558)

        Speak for yourself! I live in Indiana! Simon Property Group is a greedy company that have taken over many Malls across Indiana! I"m still going to shop online -- price and selection can not be beat!

        And now you will be paying to have police and roads and schools while you shop online, yay!

        • Re:Taxes (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Obfuscant (592200) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @08:06PM (#38658644)

          And now you will be paying to have police and roads and schools while you shop online, yay!

          I already pay for police and roads and schools while I shop online, because I shop online from the comfort of my own home, upon which I pay outrageous property taxes.

          • Re:Taxes (Score:5, Informative)

            by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['ack' in gap]> on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @12:26AM (#38660494)

            You must not live in Indiana then, because the maximum residential property-tax rate in the state is capped at 1%.

            • Re:Taxes (Score:5, Informative)

              by Restil (31903) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @02:48AM (#38661022) Homepage

              Well, I don't know about Indiana, but here where I live my local central appraisal district has appraised my house for about 3 times what I purchased it for (a foreclosure that sat on the market for 9 months before I found it, and despite all the talk about home values plummeting madly during the most recent recession, apparently someone forgot to tell the taxing authority, since my value certainly didn't drop any, and I'm guessing it didn't for anyone else either. So don't let that 1% fool you. There are other ways around THAT particular roadblock.

              -Restil

              • Re:Taxes (Score:5, Informative)

                by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @08:56AM (#38662642) Homepage
                Sounds similar to my area. Every year my property taxes go up even without increases in the tax levied. All through the recession my taxes have gone up while hearing about how property values have fallen through the floor. I even tried to get my property reassessed by the city for tax purposes but they came out with a similar overvalued amount, i.e. more than I purchased it for. Yet when I want to refinance to get a better rate and shorter term I can't because the appraisers say it is underwater which is probably is. Man it sucks being responsible.
        • Re:Taxes (Score:4, Funny)

          by MichaelSmith (789609) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @08:33PM (#38658906) Homepage Journal

          Speak for yourself! I live in Indiana! Simon Property Group is a greedy company that have taken over many Malls across Indiana! I"m still going to shop online -- price and selection can not be beat!

          And now you will be paying to have police and roads and schools while you shop online, yay!

          He doesn't use those things. He lives in his basement ;)

        • by tmosley (996283)
          You know, they got along just fine without that revenue before. Why do they need it now? Police, roads, and schools aren't really THAT expensive.

          But of course, that money isn't really for those types of things. It goes to fund bureaucracy. And the bureaucrats always threaten to axe those essential services LONG before they would ever THINK about cutting down on their own workforce.

          The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.
      • Re:Taxes (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @09:12PM (#38659246)

        *some* of the malls? Almost all of them. Of course the Simon family is FROM indiana and the National headquarters is in Indy ( despite them having more properties in other states). The thing that's most annoying is that they have consistently been greedy when it comes to major decisions. Rather than invest heavily in Malls that were struggling to combat the economic down turn of the area ( i.e. Lafayette Square Mall ) they decided to put all their money into the northside malls, Castleton, Keystone, Carmel's Clay Terrace and Hamilton Town Center.

        All of the latter malls would have kept on going fine without Simon beefing them up, and now Lafayette Square mall is defunct and they whole surrounding area has gone to hell in the last 10 years. Thankfully there's been the relocation of Best Buy and the new superwallmart to help breathe some life back in there, but that Simon abandoned that area completely should have been discouraged by the city.

        it never used to be this way however... Simon changed to its greedy ways slowly as the founder Melvin Simon retired from the company in the 1990's and died a couple of years ago. They used to be a huge charitable organization and really helped the community. What a shame

        Amazon has 3 distribution centers in Indiana and just announced a fourth one, and HAD AN EXISTING DEAL WITH INDIANA NOT TO CHARGE SALES TAX.
        The only reason the state is pursing this now is to appease the Simon Family which is buddy buddy with many key legislators.

    • Re:Taxes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Tenebrousedge (1226584) <tenebrousedge@gm a i l.com> on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:29PM (#38658308)

      Sales taxes of all kinds can be considered 'double dipping' as your income is already taxed. Additionally, they are regressive taxes.

      When doing business with amazon, you are entering into a private transaction that is (probably) not within the state's borders or jurisdiction, unless Amazon is incorporated in that state. Congress is granted the right to regulate interstate commerce, they have not done so in this case. They're also required to make such duties equal across all 50 states, which is probably not going to be a popular move.

      So in general I think this is a bad thing, and the only thing worse would be for brick-and-mortar retailers to lobby congress and make it legal.

      • Re:Taxes (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Desler (1608317) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:50PM (#38658522)

        Except that the purchasers still owe sales/use taxes to the state. Your transaction with Amazon is no more "private" than with a local grocery store.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tmosley (996283)
          What "use" taxes? The use tax for the roads is paid for by the shipping company. The seller has nothing to do with the buyer's state, unless they are in the same state. Further, these types of businesses use much MUCH less infrastructure than a brick and mortar business. Warehouses don't need nearly as much police protection as B&M.

          Face it, there is no justification for these taxes, except "I'm the state, gimme gimme gimme".
      • Re:Taxes (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ichijo (607641) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @08:14PM (#38658728) Homepage Journal

        The brick-and-mortar retailers should explain to Indiana voters how replacing the regressive state sales tax with a higher progressive income tax would benefit the 99%.

      • Tripple dipping (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They tax your money when you earn it. They tax it when you spend it. And they continue taxing you so long as you keep what you spent it on.

        Also, they tax you extra for living in specific regions and again for working in specific regions, sometimes.

        The only to escape taxes is to be very rich.

        Humans are awesome.

      • Re:Taxes (Score:4, Insightful)

        by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @08:48PM (#38659066) Journal

        Not all states have income taxes.

        And it's not double dipping if the state income tax would have been higher if sales tax weren't there to keep the budget balanced.

      • by Dahamma (304068)

        Sales taxes of all kinds can be considered 'double dipping' as your income is already taxed. Additionally, they are regressive taxes.

        They are regressive, definitely, but not necessarily double dipping, as they are collected by different government entities. Some states have no or very low income tax, and for many of those that do the state income tax revenue barely makes it down to the local level - property and sales taxes generate most of the local city and county government revenue.

      • by Fuzzums (250400)

        a private transaction.

        LMAO!!! You just made my day.

    • Re:Taxes (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:49PM (#38658512)

      The power to tax is the power to destroy. The 14th Amendment specifically prevents laws from applying to different people in different ways. It was passed to prevent Jim Crow laws. This is just a 100% attack against a targeted business that is unconstitutional and bordering on the laws that prevented blacks from voting and serving on juries after the Civil War.

    • by Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @09:20PM (#38659300)

      What service does the state provide that justifies charging a sales tax rate to out-of-state-businesses comparable to those of in-state businesses? While there is some use--i.e. the roads--for the most part the out-of-state business requires fewer state resources, and the state is not justified in collecting that tax on the basis of the business presence. That being said, sales taxes are formally taxes on people, which makes them superior in certain ways to income taxes--because they're closer to taxing *consumption*. Thus the state taxes the consumption of things consumed within the state. The problem with this, of course, is that it isn't nearly so redistributive as the income tax; the advantage is that it actually taxes monies other than ordinary income.

      Meh. I'm not going to think about this now.

      • by RadioTV (173312) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @09:43PM (#38659442)

        Amazon has three distribution centers in Indiana and they are getting ready to open the fourth. I live in Indiana and I have to pay says tax to other online retailers that have a presence in Indiana, but not Amazon.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Golddess (1361003)
          Finally, a legitimate reason to require Amazon collect sales tax in Indiana. Real sick of all the "but the brick'n'morter stores have to" arguments. This isn't a new issue people. It's no different from a mail-order catalog.
        • by mysidia (191772) * on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @01:41AM (#38660774)

          I live in Indiana and I have to pay says tax to other online retailers that have a presence in Indiana, but not Amazon.

          Because they aren't really "Amazon.com" distribution centers, perhaps?

          Because those "distribution centers" are most likely owned by a different company who just happens to have the name "Amazon" in their name, and just so happens to have an agreement with Amazon.Com that requires acquisition and shipment of materials on Amazon.com's instruction?

          Think of it this way... you can have a website named Amazon.com that has a large number of affiliates. The internet-based web site creates an illusion that you are dealing with one company, when you are actually dealing with a multi-level marketing scheme, and Amazon.COM is just the "image" and DBA you, the end user see.

          So, when you "order" an item, the order can transparently be sent to an "Affiliate" network member corporation that doesn't have any presence in the buyer's state, e.g. California if the buyer is in Indiana.

          Meanwhile... if someone in California buys something, their order could be sent to an Affiliate in Indiana whom will be the party they are legally buying the item from.

          And then the Amazon.com website's role is just a "Payment processor" and "Order aggregation" company, for the affiliate networks; they bring all the order to one place, and make the process of selecting the optimal affiliate invisible to the end-user.

      • by Dahamma (304068) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @09:56PM (#38659552)

        It's not a tax on the business, it's a tax on the buyer. The difference here is not that the buyer is not still supposed to pay, it's that Amazon will now handle the collection, because that's 1000x times more efficient than trying to enforce it for every single person in the state(s) collecting it.

        And, the complaint from in-state businesses is not that the Amazon, etc is using resources of their state, it's that they are able to compete unfairly with a sometimes 9+% price break. Sure, it can hurt huge companies like Wal-mart with a physical presence in all states, but ironically it's even *worse* for the small, local businesses who are already being hurt by Wal-mart's physical presence...

    • Re:Taxes (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday January 11, 2012 @12:21AM (#38660474)

      Well good for them. I don't really see a problem with this.

      Well then you need a new set of glasses. The sales tax you don't pay (because the online retailer isn't using state and local services such as police/fire protection, roads (UPS and USPS pay for those on Amazon deliveries), utilities, or any other service is rather offset by the delivery charge that you do pay. That makes it pretty much a wash. For local retailers to whine that It's Just Not Fair is simply whining that they don't have a monopoly over your purchases any longer. They have to compete in a more modern world for your dollars, or find a new way to flog their buggy whips.

  • But not in VA (Score:5, Informative)

    by OzPeter (195038) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:26PM (#38658280)

    Amazon are about to open a new distribution center near Richmond VA, and local retailers are a bit pissed that Amazon will not be collecting sales tax from VA residents.

    Amazon purchases to remain free of Va. sales taxes [timesdispatch.com]

    • Well this puts Amazon on a more even footing with Barnes and Noble, since they are stuck paying local taxes and are having trouble competing with Amazon.

    • It sounds like the state should have written its laws a bit different. Lexington, KY has a big distribution center and KY collects sales tax from those sales.

      • by OzPeter (195038)

        It sounds like the state should have written its laws a bit different. Lexington, KY has a big distribution center and KY collects sales tax from those sales.

        Well from the article I quoted

        Amazon has exploited a loophole by structuring its business operations in a way that its fulfillment centers are not legally considered the entity that makes the sale, and thus do not have to collect and remit sales taxes

        So I am not sure how VA has structured its laws differently from other states that are collecting sales tax

        • That loophole probably only exists in VA. Most states it's "Has any presence what so ever". So even if they just have a distribution center they still collect taxes.

      • So does Indiana. Amazon got a special exception because of this, but no longer....
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      Just do what us Canadians do. Find somewhere just over the border and open up a PO box. Have things shipped there. Pick it up to avoid sales tax. Should be even easier since you don't have to go through customs when crossing the border. If they don't deliver to PO boxes, then there's other ways around it. There are businesses where you can set up an account, and will sign for your delivery. Things are shipped to a regular, not PO Box address, and you can pick up your items PO Box style. Walmart site to s
  • The Little Guy (Score:3, Informative)

    by ThomasLB (1220384) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:27PM (#38658292) Homepage
    The state I live in, Texas, doesn't just have a state sales tax, we've also got county and city sales taxes- and each city and county sets their own, within guidelines set by the state. This is going to be a nightmare for retailers to keep up with, especially the little guys.
    • by schwep (173358)

      The only reason Indiana is collecting is because Amazon has 3 (soon to be 4) distribution plants in the state. They have a physical local presense & are 'part of the community' therefore they must pay the state taxes. If they want to be tax free for Indiana folks, close the plants, lay the workers off & stay in Washington.

    • by Solandri (704621)

      The state I live in, Texas, doesn't just have a state sales tax, we've also got county and city sales taxes- and each city and county sets their own, within guidelines set by the state. This is going to be a nightmare for retailers to keep up with, especially the little guys.

      I'm a pretty free-market type guy, but this is really something the government should be handling. Currently, it's up to businesses to figure out all the different tax rates (or hire someone to do it) and apply them to their sales. F

  • Oh well. It couldn't last forever. Stock up while you can before the feds step in.
    I actually agree it's an unfair advantage over brick and mortar stores but I'll still miss nontax purchasing anyway.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by stms (1132653)

      Wow you know this country's in the toilet when you see comments expecting the government to ruin a good thing. 200 years ago we fought for lower taxes with representation. The irony is that now we don't have proper representation and we have some of the highest taxes in the world.

      • by Black Parrot (19622) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:48PM (#38658508)

        The irony is that now we don't have proper representation and we have some of the highest taxes in the world.

        Our taxes aren't particularly high for a developed country, and if we aren't properly represented it's because we got what we voted for, or didn't vote.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by crdotson (224356)

          Our taxes aren't particularly high, but if you raised taxation to the level needed to support the current spending levels (about 40% of GDP at all levels I think) they would be amazingly high.

          Yes, we probably need to raise taxes, but what we really really really have to do is cut spending.

          • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @09:40PM (#38659410)

            Yes, we probably need to raise taxes, but what we really really really have to do is cut spending.

            I disagree that spending cuts are the major priority; we could cut plenty of things plenty deeply, yes, but there's really no sustainable path on which we can continue to charge as little as we do in tax. It's basically impossible to charge the lowest rates in the developed world while simultaneously dominating the planet in military power AND science AND culture AND economic production, yet people seem to believe we can do just that if only we cut spending and lower taxes even further.

            But so long as you admit taxes should go up, I can agree with looking at spending first. It's certainly responsible to use what you have more carefully before you ask for more. Just so long as you're not one of those dumb fucks who thinks cutting spending alone can fix the problem we'll get along fine....

            I know that's inflammatory language, but seriously: who can be stupid enough to look at our federal budget and think we can even balance the deficit, much less pay off some debt, with spending cuts alone. It's a truly asinine notion, one which any fourth grade math assignment can easily refute, and yet it captivates (imprisons, at this point) a major political party.

            My brain almost refuses to believe that anyone could be so ignorant, so selfish and deluded, as to think fully 30% of our federal budget is waste and inexcusable handouts, all of which can be slashed without any remorse or negative consequences at all.

            And if you really want to have fun, look at the things Republicans want to cut out, and then look at the fraction of the budget they represent. The NIH, the NSF, foreign aid, the national endowment for the arts, public broadcasting money....all of that put together isn't even 0.5%, and yet they harp on each of those things, individually and extensively, like they're the pinnacle of waste and socialist excess.

            God dammit, I'm gonna need some heart medication soon.

            • Historically, federal revenue has never risen above 20% of GDP, yet current spending is around 25% of GDP. I am quite confident that if the federal government were to eliminate everything it currently does that is outside of its Constitutionally mandated powers it would come in well below that 20% of GDP figure. If you think the items thus eliminated are important government functions (and some of them are), get your state government to do them. That is how the system is designed to work. The Framers of the
        • If you ask me, it's becoming more clear all the time that it's not as simple as the American public "getting what we voted for, or not voting at all" that's caused the mess we're in.

          The system has always been heavily biased towards only the wealthy succeeding in a political career, but that's evolved from a perfectly acceptable reality (where wealthy folks who actually cared about the future of the country could dedicate some of their time and resources towards steering it in what they felt was the right di

  • Bad precedent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mr100percent (57156) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:31PM (#38658336) Homepage Journal

    This, along with the other states that already got in on this, sets a really bad precedent. Taxing companies that don't exist in that state is really overstepping the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. Can each state start setting their own tariffs next?

    • They aren't taxing the company, they're taxing the buyer. Amazon just agreed (without being forced to, at least from what I can tell) to collect the money right at the time of sale.

      • by Solandri (704621)
        That's irrelevant though. Interstate commerce is by definition a transaction in which one party (Amazon in this case) resides outside the state. The residency of the other party is irrelevant, as long as it's a different state. The correct resolution to this problem is Federal legislation or a constitutional amendment which modifies the Commerce Clause. Not for states to file lawsuit after lawsuit against individual companies until they kowtow to the state's (currently unconstitutional) desires.
        • The state didn't file any lawsuit, though. Amazon itself agrees there should be legislation and that they should collect the tax.

        • Amazon has a physical presence in Indiana. They have been operating a distribution center there. This is not interstate commerce.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      please point out where in the constitution does it guarantee tax free interstate commerce

      • Re:Bad precedent (Score:4, Informative)

        by Obfuscant (592200) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @08:31PM (#38658888)
        Article 1, Section 8: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; To borrow Money on the credit of the United States; To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

        Since congress has not levied an excise or impost upon interstate transactions, and the states do not have the power to do such, then we are guaranteed, via the US Constitution, of tax-free interstate commerce, with respect to any sales tax.

  • As if I needed another.

    What I remember most about the state are the tolls on I80. They must like their taxes!
  • by konohitowa (220547) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:38PM (#38658410) Journal

    The only beneficiary of this will be the state of Indiana. Amazon's prices are already (typically) lower than what I can get them for in a store and I don't have to put up with parking lots, shitty cashiers, nor someone trying to pressure me into getting the "extended warranty". I don't have to wander around the store trying to find it, and I don't have to deal with my items either not being carried by them or else out of stock. And now Amazon has the right to demand the same level of government services that the brick-and-mortar retailers are getting. So 3 years from now, when the anachronistic "main street" retailers finally figure out that sales tax wasn't the issue, it will likely be too late for them to do anything about it.

  • Fair's fair. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by purplie (610402) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:39PM (#38658416)
    Retailers gripe about people using their shop for browsing, then buying on Amazon --- but nobody mentions the people (I'm one) who use Amazon for reading reviews, while they're shopping and buying in the retail store.

    As far as the tax goes --- I don't buy it. Local taxes help pay for local services. The fireman will come if there's a fire in their shop. Amazon already pays taxes in the location where they do business, and the fireman will come if there's a fire in their warehouse. And UPS and other shippers pay taxes where they operate, too.
  • by Cyberllama (113628) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:44PM (#38658456)

    And Amazon has been collecting taxes from me for ages. What the hell were those taxes?

  • Fair request (Score:4, Insightful)

    by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @07:51PM (#38658538)

    First off, none of us like paying taxes, including sales tax. This legislation in question won't do away with sales taxes, and the discussion here should not really be about the legality of sales taxes.

    With that disclaimer out of the way, I agree with the business owners. If I can buy something on line and not pay sales tax so get the good cheaper, how is that fair to a local store that must charge the sales tax? Simply put, it's not fair at all. Taxes should be based on the consumer's location, not the outlet's location. We do the same with insurance premiums, some interest rates, etc..

    The loophole for internet stores hurts smaller businesses. It favors large companies that can pack up and move to places with the lowest tax rates to attract consumers. Much the same way that interest rate premiums favor the state with the highest legal rates *caugh* Delaware *caugh*.

    As long as taxes are legal, I am all for making them as fair as possible.

    • by Obfuscant (592200)

      If I can buy something on line and not pay sales tax so get the good cheaper, how is that fair to a local store that must charge the sales tax?

      That local store receives services from the local taxation district and Amazon does not. That local store chose to set up shop where they did, knowing that they had an additional cost to pass on to the customer. Mailorder isn't new. Sears and JCPenny were founded to deal with it, and their catalogs kept many rural residents warm and clean for decades.

      What other costs accepted by the local stores should be arbitrarily added to the mail order companies just to make things "fair"? Should Amazon be charged "p

  • Amazon had a nice sell today on Kindle versions of several textbooks, and I noticed that I was charged my state's sales tax to download them (no Amazon datacenters are in my state). IMHO, Amazon should place the name/picture of the legislator responsible right next to that line item. Preferably holding money bags.
  • by David Greene (463)

    This is really overdue. Not only does sales tax exemption create an unfair advantage for out-of-state retailers (which is bad for the local and thus national economy), it depletes funding for civilization. And yes, Amazon does use public infrastructure to operate its business and no, shippers do not pay the Amazon's share of that infrastructure. Amazon uses all sorts of local services. Amazon operates as part of our civilization and thus should be contributing to its upkeep.

  • by harvey the nerd (582806) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @08:42PM (#38658994)
    Expatriate ripoff. The kids are living in the US receiving your mail including online bargain sales, or vice versa. With periodic pickups from travellers either way, state use/sales are a form of extortion, ripping off out of state residents. The "commercial license" or "refund application" bs just doesn't work. Guess we should buy direct from China or India, skip the middle (tax)man.
  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Tuesday January 10, 2012 @10:27PM (#38659782)
    I'm vigorously opposed to sales tax in general, and thus despise the idea of paying taxes on Amazon goods.

    That said, I'm getting very tired of the several dozen comments per Amazon-related thread about how hard it is to manage the different tax zones, what a massive unfair burden it is for online retailers, how even attempting to comply would obliterate any seller smaller than Amazon or eBay in a blinding flash of red-tape, etc.

    It's not that hard; not even at this moment is it anywhere near as difficult as you claim, but under any decently written law it would be a complete non-issue. The state could simply require the municipal party responsible for any layer of sales tax - mayors' offices, county commissioners, etc. - to enter their tax rules and proportions into a state database in a standard format. Then any moron could write code to parse that database, populate their sales system, and correctly tax a solid 95% of purchases with no further effort. In fact, it would be perfectly reasonable if the state required cities and counties to enter into my hypothetical database the correct tax jurisdictions for each and every property they contained. They already have to assess and charge those lands correctly for property and utility tax; it's just one more small step in a dance of surveying, assessment, and classification they already perform every year.

    So there's no good reason sales taxation couldn't become easier, for physical and online stores alike, under a properly written e-commerce law. Come up with some real arguments, please. I may agree with you on the underlying point, that sales tax and complex taxes in general both suck, but it makes me nauseated seeing supporters of my ideals hiding en masse behind such a piss-poor construct.

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