(H/T – Allahpundit)
Brett Joshpe wrote on The American Spectator site how sales on the internet are about to become a lot more expensive. Let’s go through the Cliff’s Notes timeline:
– In 1992, the Supreme Court ruled in Quill v. North Dakota that a retailer must have a “physical presence” in a state in order for that state to require the retailer to collect and remit that state’s sales tax. Do note that does not prohibit states from demanding their pound (in the case of Wisconsin, 5%-5.85%) of flesh from the purchaser; indeed, most states do demand their cut.
– Because of mass disobedience of that mandate, last year, New York required any online retailer who so much has an affiliate advertiser in that state to collect and remit the New York sales tax. In plain English, if a site like overstock.com advertised on, say the New York Times’ site or A Blog for All, it would be forced to collect New York sales tax on purchases made by New York residents.
– In response to that, overstock.com terminated its affiliate relationships with close to 3,400 entities.
– Meanwhile, the tax-and-spend-and-tax-and-spend-and (you get the idea) folks are trying to shove through Congress, under the guise of “streamlined” sales tax, a requirement to make all online retailers collect all state/local sales taxes.
Back in the dawn of e-commerce, I was involved in a small e-commerce project. Even if somehow a standard list of items subject to a sales tax were created (a pipe dream because the T&S&T&S&T&Sers in places like Madison and Albany will always want to tax more items than those in other state capitals), the myriad of different rates, both at the state and local level, which tend to not remain constant, would be a nightmare to keep up with.