published Friday, November 11th, 2011

Alexander, Corker seek fairer sales tax system

Tennessee and other states have been locked in debate for years over making sales tax collections fair to both traditional brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers that don’t have stores in a given state. Now, U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee are backing a bill that would end the confusion and allow states to require online retailers to collect sales taxes.

Neither paying nor collecting taxes is exactly fun, but it is reasonable to expect retailers of whatever type to abide by the same rules. That is doubly true in Tennessee, which fortunately has no general state income tax but must therefore rely heavily on sales tax collections.

The bill “ends a subsidy for some businesses over others,” Alexander said, and “ends a subsidy for some taxpayers over others.”

He was referring to customers who gain a benefit by not paying taxes on online purchases, while taxes are assessed on purchases made at traditional stores.

Corker noted that by law, taxes on online sales are already due, but this legislation would provide for the actual collection of those taxes.

Alexander estimated that Tennessee could gain hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue under the law. The expanded collections could ultimately even allow the state to reduce its sales tax rate.

Some online retailers are balking at the proposal, but it makes sense to create a level playing field.

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carlB said...

Reply to Senator Corker and Senator Alexender:

There is not a problem in realizing that this sales tax issue to equalize the competitiveness between the normal retail stores located within the state/Nation and Amazon with it's untaxed Internet sales only.
Why not pass a law that would just exempt all sale taxes on goods bought on the Internet? If you passed this law of exempting all Internet sales tax on goods and the sale of goods bought within the retail stores decreased 100 per cent thereby decreasing the taxes collected? What would if anything need to be done to fill this void of monies collected? Would we then come up with a one liner saying that, "the US consumers are not paying their fair share of taxes"? We know that this condition would never be allowed but there could be possibilities occurring causing many of the US consumers not to have any money to spend. We already have the one liner saying that "the upper one per cent are not paying their fair share of taxes." Does their not paying their fair share of taxes create a void of monies during the economic conditions this Republic is in at this time? If there are voids, then what actions should be taken to close the loop holes for the one per cent "allowing" them to pay their fair share?

The Republicans now want the people to think that the conditions/situations which put this Republic on the verge of another great depression before November 2008, prior to President Obama being elected, and since these crisis conditions were not corrected before Obama took office in January 2009, they would not continue to have an effect on our economy with the unemployment continuing to increase? This is why President Obama has tried to point out that the continuing effects of the 2007 recession could not be stopped instantly. Which is not a surprise to anybody who has any knowledge or admission of what happened during the last administration and how bad the conditions were.

Many of the US locations need the private sectors to create production jobs, they are a "no show" unless the governments with the help of the tax payers provide the "ready made" facilities for private companies to move into with the minimum of cost, just to create jobs. This condition also is causing an increase in the cost of living as the cost of constructing the utility facilities for these companies are passed onto the tax paying residents.

November 11, 2011 at 4:48 p.m.
noonanknight said...

Amazon and EBay are opening Thousands of jobs In Tennessee this year alone. This is due to the fair tax base that exists in this state. Typical government interference to grab monies will cause more work and reduced profits for these companies and will only have an adverse effect on the increasing workforce requirements by these companies. The NET RESULT would be a loss to the state tax collections. Leave the internet alone or everyone will be buying from the Chinese or other over-seas companies that are protected by the "Free Trade Agreements" which leave all American companies at a disadvantage.

November 12, 2011 at 6:29 p.m.
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