Columnist Sid Salter is nothing if not consistent; he has written at least twice calling for state sales taxes to be collected and remitted by businesses which have no presence within the taxing state and thus receive no benefits at all from them, (“Internet taxes, internet sales taxes are two different things”, July, 18). He again tries to misdirect the argument as a call for “fairness” and mischaracterizes the opposition as being against “new” internet taxes. Neither is a valid argument!
There is nothing “fair” about making someone collect and remit taxes to a state in which they have no physical presence and the only thing opponents decry as “new” is the collection and remittance requirement. The fact that states have been unable to figure out how to enforce sales taxes due by their residents on out of state purchases does not reasonably make it the responsibility of others. Local businesses naturally like the tax because it adds costs to their competitors who will receive no benefits and politicians all see a new revenue source that is not from the pockets of one of their voters.
Internet sales have grown so rapidly primarily because the government has not yet been able to complicate things. Let us keep it that way until we better see where this industry is headed.