Last updated: April 9, 2012 - 8:17am
[Commentary] It's been a rough ride for local retailers for the past decade. Between the economy and the off-the-charts growth of online competitors, many have closed their doors, and many more are struggling to stay open. This has to be the year Congress finally levels the playing field for brick-and-mortar companies and their online competitors by closing the Internet sales tax loophole.
Local retailers deserve equal treatment from the federal government. Today, people visit stores to see products, then go home and buy them tax-free online. States desperately need the sales tax revenue the loss of which has deepened their budget crises. The federal government can no longer justify giving online retailers in California a 10 percent advantage. Remember, this is not a new tax. The law always has required buyers to pay sales tax on online purchases, but no one has enforced it. California collected about $10 million last year from Internet sales to those rare buyers who took the time to calculate the tax and send the money to the state -- but it should be collecting more than $200 million a year. Think of the thousands of California teachers who lost their jobs in the past decade because California didn't receive $2 billion it was legally entitled to.
- Online retailers need to collect sales taxes
- Free ride ends for Amazon
- Are you an online tax cheat?
- Fairness on Sales Taxes
- Amazon's Tax Dodge
- Amazon Faces Taxing Times
- California should end online sales tax break
- States’ Drive to Collect Taxes on Internet Sales Is a Blow to Marketers
- The Real-World Cost of 'Tax Free' Online Shopping
- Amazon should pay fair share of sales tax
- Marketplace Fairness: Leveling the Playing Field for Small Businesses
- House Online Sales-Tax Bill Draws Bipartisan Support
- A Real Debate on Surveillance
- Amazon sales-tax issue taken up by Congress
- No free lunch at Amazon