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Bipartisan Internet Sales Tax Bill Introduced 548

jfruhlinger writes "Four senators, including both Democrats and Republicans, have introduced a bill that would allow (but not require) states to collect sales tax on items purchased by residents online, even the seller has no physical presence in that state. Sellers would be able to pay through either the existing Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement or a new alternative tax simplification plan. Battle lines are being drawn predictably: brick-and-mortar retailers love the idea, Internet-only sellers hate it."
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Bipartisan Internet Sales Tax Bill Introduced

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  • by jackb_guppy ( 204733 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @08:22PM (#38006986)

    Make the USPS the handler of the sales tax system. They are already in position to id your house, down to the City, County, State and whether it is actually city, county, state, federal or other jurisdiction.

    Since we already have laws that make the drive of the truck responsible for the items. Then make the carriers which include FedEx and UPS, be the collector, since they are persons handing the package to customer.

    This way the calculation of tax, is part of address validation that all these systems use along with freight charges.

  • Re:About time (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @10:09PM (#38007964)

    Businesses don't pay the tax, the citizen pays. Walk into Wal-mart, buy a taxable item, and the tax is itemized-- you are paying an additional amount for tax, Wal-mart is playing tax collector.

    Purchasing items out of state and having them mailed simply relieves the seller of the burden of collection, but it does not relieve the purchaser of the burden of paying the tax. It's just that no one files the paperwork and pays it themselves because it's too much trouble for the state to enforce (probably the very reason states enlisted businesses to collect the tax in the first place.)

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @10:15PM (#38008006)

    Property tax increases have their growth rate capped by prop 13, they are not themselves capped.

    When a property is sold, the value is assessed, and the tax rate set, so change in property ownership tends to raise the taxes on the property being sold, well in excess of the normal growth rate cap.

    The failure in this scenario is that, as a corporate owner, like the Kaiser family, at the time prop 13 passed, they took all of their properties and incorporated a separate holding company for each one of them. When they want to sell the property, they instead sell the holding company, and the ownership on the property remains the same (the same holding company owns it), and therefore falls under the growth rate cap.

    Thus individual property taxes go up, and commercial property taxes do not.

    If you are buying a house in California, it's probably worth checking out zoning and corporate ownership over a period of several years compared to increases in the non-capped property assessment over the same period of time, and decide whether you will make more money off selling a property without a drastically increased property tax from a change of ownership, but with mortgage deductions, vs. selling a company which owns a property with a relatively low tax rate which will stay relatively low for the new owner of the corporation. You might be better off creating your own holding company, like the big players do.

    My personal take on this would be to have prop 13 not apply to commercial properties, which was a very late amendment to the proposition in order to enable exactly this kind of corporate ownership loophole for commercial properties.

    -- Terry

The moon may be smaller than Earth, but it's further away.