Today I testified before the DC Council’s Finance Committee on the District’s “Internet Sales Taxes” and “Main Street Fairness” amendments. These amendments require all out-of-state sellers, even those with no physical presence in DC, to collect and remit sales taxes for sales into the District.
Over 5,000 small sellers have joined together to oppose California’s affiliate nexus bill, AB 153.
This legislation attempts to force out-of-state sellers to collect California taxes on sales to state residents. Presently, the US Supreme Court regards state sales tax systems as unreasonable burdens on interstate commerce, so sellers only have to collect taxes for states where they have a physical presence.
We recognize that now is a period of economic discomfort for the states, where lawmakers are searching for new sources of tax revenue. However, the pursuit of tax revenue is no excuse for legislation that disregards the very document on which this nation is founded.
This latest dis’ of the US Constitution comes in the form of Alabama’s tax reporting bill, HB 365.
There’s a fairy tale where a king who’s fallen on hard times is visited by a shadowy figure whispering advice in the king’s ear. And before long, the King loses all the good things about his kingdom and the advisor takes control. Read more
Today we published our March 2011 “iAWFUL” list of bad Internet laws. We identified a surge in state and federal online privacy legislation that is threatening to tie the hands of online innovators. (iAWFUL was already picked-up in CNET, Politico, The Hill, and Siliconvalley.com)
Sometimes in politics calmer heads and common sense prevail, and red and blue partisans merge into purple. Protecting and encouraging Internet entrepreneurs has been known to move Congress in this way.
Today, a House Resolution offered by Representatives Dan Lungren (R-CA) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) will put States on notice that this Congress won’t impose any new tax collection burdens on the nation’s small online businesses.
Their west coast, bi-partisan resolution picks up on a similar resolution by Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) in the last Congress. Rep. Hodes hailed from a small, east coast state with no sales tax, while Reps. Lungren and Lofgren come from California, a state with a high sales tax and a huge budget shortfall. Yet all of them see the risks of forcing new tax collection burdens on the smallest of businesses that use catalogs or websites to serve their customers. Read more
Long-suffering fans of the Chicago Cubs often find themselves needing that last-minute ticket to a ballgame or find themselves looking to unload a couple of tickets. For example, let’s say Bob has family coming to Chicago and needs tickets to the Cubs. Meanwhile, Sam’s son made the soccer finals and Sam can’t use his Cubs tickets. Historically, Sam would waste his tickets and Bob would have to watch from the couch.
All that changed when online auction sites like eBay and StubHub came into the market and began matching-up all the Bobs and Sams of the world. Suddenly, more families were making it to Cubs games while others had more money in their pockets. Read more
In their race to raise taxes for a cash-strapped state government, Illinois legislators are pursuing a mirage that other states have already discovered was a dry and dusty disappointment. Yesterday, the General Assembly approved a version of the “Amazon Tax” that would actually reduce tax revenue while harming Illinoisans who make a living through online advertising.
As in other states, this tax scheme will once again backfire to the detriment of Illinois’ entrepreneurs and state tax coffers. HB 3659 is supposed to force an out-of-state retailer to collect Illinois sales tax if they use in-state ‘affiliates’ – Illinois websites that earn revenue by showing ads for the out-of-state retailer. Read more
A federal judge sided with privacy over taxes yesterday, signaling a victory for consumers in North Carolina. Now we’re waiting to see if this also means victory for consumers and online companies that sell into Colorado.
A U.S. District Court in Seattle blocked North Carolina’s Department of Revenue from compelling Amazon to reveal the names and addresses of its customers so that North Carolina could go after them for not paying use taxes on purchases where they did not pay sales tax. Read more
As readers of this blog know, NetChoice has consistently sounded the warning bell about the huge costs and compliance burdens small online retailers would face if Congress required them to collect sales tax for all states. Thankfully, some members of Congress understand this. But most of the legislators and tax officials on the SST Governing Board do not. Read more
NetChoice is a trade association representing eCommerce businesses and online consumers all of whom share the goal of promoting convenience, choice, and commerce on the Net.