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Amazon To Pay Texas Sales Tax 274

An anonymous reader writes "The Houston Chronicle is reporting that will soon start collecting sales tax from buyers in state of Texas. 'Seattle-based Amazon, which had $34 billion in sales in 2010, has long opposed collecting taxes. That has drawn fire from state governments facing budget shortfalls and from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, who say online sellers essentially give customers an automatic discount when they don’t collect taxes. Combs has estimated the state loses $600 million a year from untaxed online sales. However, Amazon has recently begun making deals with a number of states to collect sales tax. Those deals have usually included a one- to three-year window exempting Amazon from sales tax collection.'"
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Amazon To Pay Texas Sales Tax

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  • by Pope ( 17780 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:38PM (#39826069)

    How about stop spending more money than you have?

  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:38PM (#39826077)
    a tax break for regular people that actually helps the economy? Nope, can't have that.
  • by Dan667 ( 564390 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:40PM (#39826105)
    it is a tax that is the burden of regular people and they don't really care if taxes are hard on working families.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:42PM (#39826135)

    Doesn't this violate the US Constitution?

    Or are they arguing that Amazon "has a presence" in Texas?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:43PM (#39826149)

    Phsaw, sales taxes disproportionately affect the poor and middle class. Of course they are in favor of it. I mean, they talk all the time about lowering taxes, but the subtext is always that they want to lower taxes on rich people. Just look at things like the Fair Tax. Does it really take more than about 15 seconds of examination to tell that it is a huge increase in the tax burden on the poor, as well?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:49PM (#39826219)

    Sounds like you haven't bothered to spend 15 seconds learning about the Fair Tax.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:51PM (#39826237)

    is all that is. As for Texas being against taxes, well, the state is about 24.6 billion or so in debt under the ever amusing "conservative" governor Perry. So make no mistake about it. Governor Perry is against taxes, but he seems to be OK with authorizing *spending* whether there's tax revenue to cover it or not.

  • by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:51PM (#39826245)

    You would only pay this if you lived in Texas...

  • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @04:55PM (#39826307)

    "Bah humbug" on your anti-R slam. Most states make Necessities tax free, so the poor are not hurt. They can still buy the food/clothing/rent they need to survive. It is only the well-off wasting their money on luxury, non-needed goods that pay the sales tax.

    BTW someone below made a good point:

    This tax is ALREADY owed by the citizens. It's called a "use" tax and is applied to out-of-state purchases. Nothing's really changed except that Texas is now forcing delinquent citizens to pay-up. In other words TX and other states are cracking-down on tax dodgers. (Tsk tsk tsk you tax dodgers.)

  • Re:Fair? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tthomas48 ( 180798 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @05:00PM (#39826375) Homepage

    Walmart, BestBuy, Target, Dell, etc. All pay taxes in Texas. Amazon has been a bit off a scofflaw for many years now.

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @05:14PM (#39826553) Homepage Journal
    This is raising tax on the middle class, not those who pay for Rick Perry to be in office. Think how much sales tax, as a percentage of income, that a family that makes $40K a year pays. Now imagine how much Clayton williams pay as a part of income. He can travel to other countries for large purchases, hide money, and use other tricks to minimize overall tax rate. This is what is missing in the current tax debate. Most people of moderate income pay social security on all income, spend most of their money on purchases that are taxed, in addition to any income tax they may pay. Of course, in Texas basic food is not taxed, so the poor are not as screwed by the greedy governor and his friends.

    What disappoints me is that conservatives could restructure the system, end sales tax, and generate income through other means, but they just do the same as always. Not cut costs, but tax more.

  • by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @05:19PM (#39826625) Homepage

    Most states make Necessities tax free, so the poor are not hurt. They can still buy the food/clothing/rent they need to survive. It is only the well-off wasting their money on luxury, non-needed goods that pay the sales tax.

    The rich spend less in proportion to what they make than do the poor and the middle class, which is why sales tax is generally considered a regressive tax.

    As for "luxury, non-needed goods", I feel there should be more to life than mere subsistence, and people shouldn't carry a greater tax burden just from wanting to make their lives a little less miserable. Instead of burdening these people with sales taxes, let's raise taxes on those who make their money off the backs of others.

  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @05:19PM (#39826629) Homepage Journal

    Deficit spending is clearly the right strategy some of the time. Particularly if you spend your deficit on infrastructure that grows the economy and results in increased wealth to pay back that debt. The real problem comes when you spend that debt on ephemera like elder health care that gets you nothing but additional expenses.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @05:35PM (#39826819)

    Oh yes, wizened one, please tell us how a $6,767 annual tax prebate on a family of four cancels out a 30% sales tax applied to everything that the family pays for, including their rent, food, and clothes. Yes, I know the liars who support the bill like to pretend that it is a 23% sales tax (it isn't). Yes, I know it exempts tax on used items (maybe you can explain how they are supposed to make use of used food and housing).

  • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @05:36PM (#39826825)


    Republicans always love regressive taxation. They don't even mind the payroll tax that much since it's highly regressive (capping out means it applies on 100% of the income of the poor and middle class, but 10% or less of the income of the upper class).

    We could fix the tax system by classifying ALL income as income and eliminating the "capital gains" cheating bullshit, and eliminating the payroll tax caps and simply making it apply to all wages. But that'd never fly, because it'd be fair to all instead of the regressive taxation the Republicans want.

    If you ONLY consider income tax, somewhere around 50% of people have "no tax liability." A whole fucking lot of them are the senile delinquent Tea Party followers who no longer work because they're retired; the rest are mostly stay-at-home parents.

    If you add in payroll taxes, it drops to 18%.

    If you add in sales taxes, it drops to around 10%.

    If you add in the various FEES that Republicans like to pass (remember, fees are even MORE regressive as a percentage of income) - stuff like auto registration fees for instance - it's around 5%.

    But the Republicans still insist on ranting about people who "don't pay taxes."

  • by happyhamster ( 134378 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @05:56PM (#39827073)

    How about getting a little economic education instead of chanting idiotic repub slogans? If you think about it, the slogan is meaningless. Modern economy runs on credit. Everyone "spends more money than they have," businesses, families, and yes, governments. It increases economic activity and improves growth. You borrow in bad times or for large items, pay off gradually in good times.

  • by rtaylor ( 70602 ) on Friday April 27, 2012 @06:09PM (#39827213) Homepage

    The 2 largest expenses for many areas is police and fire. Without those two services your ability to own property is dubious anyway (any person or group stronger than you would take it or destroy it).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @06:19PM (#39827341)

    The cost of the IRS is and always has been a red herring. We each pay about $40 yearly to fund the IRS. Not even all of that will go away, as you still have to have somebody make sure taxes are being payed and a bunch of bean counters to manage a prebate. You either have to have each person continue to file yearly or you have to have the manpower to audit an individual business and examine records down to the per-transaction level. Either way, you aren't going to be saving all that much money.

    Meanwhile, rich people spend a tiny fraction of their income on anything that would get touched by a consumption tax. If you think Romney's 14% tax burden is low now, wait until you realize that he probably only spent 10% of his income for the year, giving him an overall tax burden under a Fair Tax system of somewhere in the lower single digits. Now, to go back to raising the some number of tax dollars as before, like you mentioned: if Romney is going to pay less and the total value is going to stay the same, where do you think the money Romney won't be paying will come from? I'll give you a hint: the middle class.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2012 @06:34PM (#39827505)

    Less than .3% of our population is here illegally, and they are among the poorest people in the country. Sure, you might get a nice tingle from making sure people aren't dodging their taxes, but the effect will be in the realm of a couple of tens of billions dollars on a budget measured in trillions. It is all a bunch of feel-good nonsense designed to distract from the core objective of anything that remotely resembles a Fair Tax: to pillage the middle class and line the pockets of the rich.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class except Congress." -- Mark Twain