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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

A few thoughts about the Marketplace Fairness Act

Posted Monday, June 17, 2013, at 8:43 AM
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  • Hi Steve,

    Putting aside for the moment the argument about "fairness", this is not a new tax; it is simply an attempt to enable states to collect their existing "use" taxes on out-of-state purchases made by their residents, taxes that are already payable but are too easily avoided. And, you can be sure of one thing, eBay is not looking out for consumers; eBay is (desperately of late) looking out for eBay, as always ... http://bit.ly/YvxFEg

    The most enlightening discussion on this "internet tax" matter that I have yet seen are the comments by "reamon", responding the much on the nonsense being posted by others, at http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/06/tech/web/internet-sales-tax/index.html

    -- Posted by PhilipCohen on Tue, Jun 18, 2013, at 9:26 PM
  • "It also appears very possible that they [Amazon] will still collect taxes during that time, but not have to pay the State."

    And surely that would be fraud on the consumer, would it not? Still, demonstrably, eBay has no trouble committing and facilitating blatant fraud on its consumers, so why should not Amazon do likewise?

    -- Posted by PhilipCohen on Wed, Jun 19, 2013, at 1:58 AM
  • Boy Phillip, I don't hear from you for months and now twice! And it didn't have anything to do with shill bidding! Welcome back. :-)

    I don't disagree that the tax is not a new one, just new as to being applied to out-of-state sellers. I don't begrudge my home State of expecting me to collect sales tax for our residents, but across the whole country?

    I DO disagree with them trying to sell it as a "Fairness Act" tot he everyday brick and mortar stores. Phooey! I choose not to use the real words that come to mind. :-)

    I don't deny that eBay is looking out for eBay. I guess they think they will be forced to administer it, which is scary at best, but Amazon is supporting it, as long as they get their tax breaks. If they don't they holler. http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y13/m06/i19/s02

    And our Federal government thinks they can legislate a smooth solution? There must be a heavy cloud of funny smoke hanging over Washington D.C.! I hope your government is better Phillip (it sounds like it) but do you trust your politicians to get things straight?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 19, 2013, at 8:43 AM
  • Hi Steve,

    Our "federation" of states is constitutionally a little different to yours in that our states are not treated "sales" taxation-wise as virtually separate countries, each with different and varied tax regimes; we have no need for each state to attempt to collect a "use" tax on interstate purchases as well as a sales tax intrastate; we have a federally collected "sales" tax (at 10%) on all commercial goods and services transactions (GST)--similar to the VAT in the UK--which is payable by all businesses with sales exceeding $50,000 per annum, and these funds are returned (weighted) to the states. Additionally, at the retail level our GST is inclusive, not additive, so there is not the constant bickering about the additional amount of it; in the end, our GST system works and is accepted by the electorate ...

    As you have probably noticed, I don't "trust" any commercial entity; in these days of obscene "performance" bonuses (even on losses), the mangers are all looking out only for themselves in the shortest possible term; probably, politicians are little better, they just have other ways of collecting their share of the "bonuses" ...

    Your DOJ recently pursued an individual, Aaron Schwartz, to his death over a relatively trivial matter; yet, it can be demonstrated that eBay is the greatest calculated facilitator of auction "wire fraud" on consumers that the world is ever likely to know, but no one appears to want to do anything about it ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

    Certainly there appears to be a disconnect between the way the criminal activities of large corporations are treated compared to that of individuals. What can be the difference? The sums involved, of course; the larger the amounts involved in the frauds, the more there is for such unscrupulous corporations to buy their way around via their lobbyists ...

    -- Posted by PhilipCohen on Wed, Jun 19, 2013, at 11:59 AM
  • Several points to ponder there Phillip. I would probably support a flat tax across all States for internet sales, then let them all fight over it.

    Well, no need to fight, just give the Feds a "handling fee" and send the rest to the States based on their census figures. Done.

    Either way, the States would be getting a whole lot more than they were to begin with.

    Regarding Aaron Schwartz, I think there is a lot more to come out. I don't know enough to speak with authority, but I would be haunted if I had been any part of it.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jun 19, 2013, at 2:31 PM
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