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A Democratic senator is preparing to introduce legislation that aims to end the golden era of tax-free Internet shopping.

The proposal--expected to be made public soon after Tax Day--would rewrite the ground rules for Internet and mail order sales by eliminating the ability of Americans to shop at Web sites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com without paying state sales taxes.

Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second most senior Senate Democrat, will introduce the bill after the Easter recess, a Democratic aide told CNET.

"Why should out-of-state companies that sell their products online have an unfair advantage over Main Street bricks-and-mortar businesses?" Durbin said in a speech in Collinsville, Ill., in February. "Out-of-state companies that aren't paying their fair share of taxes are sticking Illinois residents and businesses with the tab."

At the moment, Americans who shop over the Internet from out-of-state vendors aren't always required to pay sales taxes at the time of purchase. Californians buying books from Amazon.com or cameras from Manhattan's B&H Photo, for example, won't pay the sales taxes at checkout time that they would if shopping at a local mall--which is what Durbin means by giving online retailers an "unfair advantage."

On the other hand, there are some 7,500 different taxing jurisdictions in the United States, each with a set of very precise rules describing what can and can't be taxed and at what rate. That makes it challenging terrain for retailers to navigate.

In New Jersey, for instance, bottled water and cookies are exempt from sales tax (PDF), but bottled soda and candy are taxable. In Rhode Island, buying a mink handbag is taxed, but a mink fur coat is not (PDF).

Durbin's bill will be called the Main Street Fairness Act, which follows legislation introduced last July in the House of Representatives bearing the same name. A possible co-sponsor is Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican who backed a similar proposal before and did not respond to a request for comment. (See related update below.)

Making matters more difficult for the pro-tax forces is the decision by Rep. William Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat, not to run for reelection last year. Delahunt was probably Congress' most enthusiastic proponent of Internet sales taxes, and it's not clear a Republican-controlled House will be as eager to embrace the idea.

One early indication: Rep. Dan Lungren, a California Republican, introduced legislation in February saying that allowing states to levy "onerous and burdensome sales tax collecting schemes on Internet-enabled small businesses that do not even reside in their state would adversely impact hundreds of thousands of jobs." Former GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is one of the sponsors.

The Direct Marketing Association, which sued Colorado last year to block a state tax law from taking effect, is preparing to rally opposition to Durbin's legislation.

"You're just giving the states a blank check to make changes without any congressional oversight," says Jerry Cerasale, the DMA's senior vice president for government affairs. "We oppose that...We think that's abrogating the authority of Congress."

In response to complexity concerns, the pro-tax forces have offered a proposal that they hope Congress can be persuaded to adopt. The concept is called the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement, which was invented in 2002 by state tax officials hoping to straighten out some of sales tax laws' most notorious convolutions.

Since then, some 24 states have signed on, either wholly or partially, to the agreement, meaning they have agreed to simplify their tax codes and make them uniform. If enough states participate, proponents believe it will ease concerns about complexity and make it easier to convince Congress to make sales collection mandatory for out-of-state retailers.

Paul Misener, vice president of public policy for Amazon, says his employer isn't necessarily opposed to such legislation--as long as it's crafted very carefully. "We've long supported a truly simple, nationwide sales tax system, evenhandedly applied," he says.

The current legal and political landscape was shaped by a 1992 case called Quill v. North Dakota, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled: "Congress is now free to decide whether, when, and to what extent the states may burden interstate mail order concerns with a duty to collect use taxes."

Under the Quill ruling, out-of-state retailers generally don't have to collect taxes. One exception to that rule is a legal concept called "nexus," which means a company can be forced to collect sales taxes if it has a sufficient business presence, which is why Amazon doesn't have an office in California. (Another exception is the sale of cigarettes, which is covered by the Jenkins Act.)

An important caveat is that under existing law, online purchases from sites like Amazon and eBay only seem to arrive tax-free. Legally, however, purchasers are required to pay their own state's sales tax rate--the concept is called a "use tax"--and then voluntarily report the amount owed at tax time. Few do.

Support for Durbin's forthcoming legislation is likely to come from the Alliance for Main Street Fairness and like-minded companies including Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

"Big box stores love to mobilize smaller booksellers to complain about competing with Amazon," says Steve DelBianco, executive director of the NetChoice coalition, which counts eBay, Overstock.com, and Yahoo as members. "The irony is that those small booksellers have been clobbered by big box stores. The Internet's their friend."

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20052999-281.html#ixzz1JS3W798B
 

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But that business gets taxed on buying the product and revenue for the product from their state... why should one thing ever be taxed more than once? and by more than one jurisdiction?.

I hate taxes.... they hate me more because they owe ME money.
 

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but that is the premise behind the death tax...pay taxes on all your assets your whole life...when you die you have to pay a tax on all of it again because you died....
 

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Hell. Go complain to Al, " I'm a hypocritical, corrupt, moronic, lying, adulterous charlatan " Gore.

It's his invention. Let him pay the taxes on it.





Thank goodness the truth about the MMGW hoax has surfaced and shown Gore for what he really is. Haven't heard much from the sumbitch lately, have we?
 

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At least the Democrate leading the way on this has the right first name for him:laughing:
 

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At least the Democrate leading the way on this has the right first name for him:laughing:
That he does.

Talk about killing the internet. :crazy: Add in taxes and shipping, and it's no longer affordable.

This was brought up a few years ago too. It will die again, just like then.
 

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If a fair tax is enacted would it apply to internet purchases?
 

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If a fair tax is enacted would it apply to internet purchases?
I don't think so.
The internet has it's own law dating back to the early 1990's about taxation. In order for that to change, that law would need to be changed. Some states are slowly chipping away at it though.
 

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What a shock... a dem that wants more taxes. :laughing:
That was my first thought,too.
My second thought was, where do they come up with these names for their bills?

"Durbin's bill will be called the Main Street Fairness Act"

I swear, they could make a bill requiring one leg be cut off of every baby and they would call it the All-American Compassionate Prosthetics Support Bill. :crazy:
 

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That was my first thought,too.
My second thought was, where do they come up with these names for their bills?

"Durbin's bill will be called the Main Street Fairness Act"

I swear, they could make a bill requiring one leg be cut off of every baby and they would call it the All-American Compassionate Prosthetics Support Bill. :crazy:
:laughing: :thumbsup:
 

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Government.

If it moves tax it

If it keeps moving regulate it

If it stops moving subsidize it.
 

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Government.

If it moves tax it

If it keeps moving regulate it

If it stops moving subsidize it.
:laughing: Reminds me of the simplified regs they gave us as new seamen on our first ship in the Navy:

If it moves, salute it.
If it don't move, move it
If you can't move it, paint it.
:laughing:
 

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One more time the government is trying to take away our freedom,

Say what are we fighting for ?

What I want to know is when are they going to restore our freedom
 

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This has nothing to do with Fairness to main street this is all about generating more revenue for stupid ****ing programs. What I want to know is why we allow our Congress to continue to find ways to generate more revenue for the government instead of findings ways to take the revenue already received and being more frugal with it?
 

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This has nothing to do with Fairness to main street this is all about generating more revenue for stupid ****ing programs. What I want to know is why we allow our Congress to continue to find ways to generate more revenue for the government instead of findings ways to take the revenue already received and being more frugal with it?
Or Better Yet

This country is too top heavy

We need less people in government and then that will solve our Revenue problem

Their performance is horrible (14 trillion) In Debt

I say why reward bad performance in government and throw Good money after BAD

If they were a business they would be Bankrupt

What does that tell you lol
 

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Or Better Yet

This country is too top heavy

We need less people in government and then that will solve our Revenue problem

Their performance is horrible (14 trillion) In Debt

I say why reward bad performance in government and throw Good money after BAD

If they were a business they would be Bankrupt

What does that tell you lol
:agree:
Well stated.
 
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