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The Great Internet Shakedown
By J.J. Johnson - Sierra Times - 01.30.03
An Internet tax would be the equivalent of an economic virus hitting everyone. As of now, the California proposal would only tax business that do retail in California and have online sales. They would, of course, only tax California residents. States are currently prohibited from collecting taxes on out-of-state purchases because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the variety of tax systems would burden retailers (read: be impossible to enforce). But the National Governor's Association is leading a coalition to make state sales tax systems more consistent in what is taxed and what rate is charged. The coalition then plans to challenge the Supreme Court decision once 10 states have adopted the simplified system. Sales, like electricity, water and traffic follow the path of lease resistance. Just wait and see what happens when states make laws, then can't collect the taxes when online folks simply log on elsewhere, or states like Nevada suddenly become a dot-com hub for Internet businesses to avoid California. That's right - you'll hear Nancy Polosi & Company in Congress demanding more federal regulations on the Internet itself to keep everyone in line.

posted by An Old Curmudgeon 7:09 AM

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