Ethan A. Huff,
April 13, 2011
Republican Sen. Michael Enzi of Wyoming first tried it and failed in 2007, and now he and Democrat Sen. Dick Durbin from Illinois are together trying it again. The bipartisan duo plans to introduce new legislation shortly after Easter that will levy a sales tax on all internet purchases, even if the seller is not located in the same state as the buyer. Besides being wholly unconstitutional, the proposed bill usurps the rightful authority of states, not the federal government, to levy and collect state sales taxes.
Currently, internet retailers that have a physical presence in a given state are already required to collect sales taxes from customers living in that same state — and virtually all of them are currently complying with the existing law. And customers who purchase from online vendors that do not have a physical presence in their state can legally make purchases without having to pay state sales taxes, unless that customer’s state has “use” tax laws.
However, Sen. Durbin, the author of the new bill, falsely claims that online retailers selling products to customers located in other states are not paying their “fair share” of taxes. This, of course, is utter nonsense, as most state tax laws only require vendors located in the same state as the customer to collect sales taxes.
Nevertheless, Sen. Durbin has constructed some very powerful and manipulative rhetoric around such lies in an attempt to sway the public into buying into his scheme. After all, by accusing online retailers of “sticking … residents and businesses with the tab” by allegedly not paying their supposed “fair share” of sales taxes, Sen. Durbin is nonsensically trying to play into the gut emotions of his constituents by getting them angry at online retailers, even though those retailers have done nothing wrong.
Truth be told, online retailers are already abiding by state sales tax laws. It is Sens. Durbin and Enzi that want to corrupt the current laws because their states are likely not making as much money as they used to before the days of the internet. So they want to summon you, the already overtaxed consumer, to pay even more taxes on internet purchases from out of state, even though you are not legally required to do so.
The bill, deceitfully titled the Main Street Fairness Act, is nothing more than an attempt to swindle consumers out of more of their hard-earned tax dollars. And it is an unconstitutional one at that, which is important to keep in mind. But the government seems willing to do anything it can to tax you as much as possible, and the Main Street Fairness Act is no exception.
Now is the time to begin calling and writing your Congressmen, urging them to oppose the Main Street Fairness Act. The federal government has no legal or constitutional authority to mandate that consumers pay sales taxes on items from companies not located within their own states.
You can find contact information for your Congressmen by visiting: http://www.congress.org
Once there, simply enter your zip code on the right-hand side of the page and click “Go” to pull up a complete list.
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This article was posted: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 at 5:35 am