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Congress is Considering Bill to Impose Sales Tax on Online Purchases

Will this change your purchasing habits?

As everyone debates the great partisan divide in the federal government, there is some bipartisan legislation moving along in Congress without too much opposition from either side of the divide. If passed, the bill being considered would result in about 5 to 10 percent sales tax levied on purchases made over the Internet.

While this would level the playing field for businesses with a presence outside the virtual storefront, it would be a hardship for the U.S. consumers who, according to a recent story on CBS News, spent more than $200 billion in online sales last year. A reported 53 percent of Americans shop online, spending an average of $1,200 a piece. This is expected to rise to 58 percent by 2016 with an average expenditure of about $1,700 a piece.

Supporters, both Democrat and Republican, claim it is all about states' rights. If the bill passes, it would turn the issue over to the states. However, many believe it has a whole lot more to do with the substantial revenue that would flow into depleted state coffers that it has to do with states' rights. CBS News reports that if passed, it would raise an estimated $23 billion in additional revenue for states.

But at what cost?

According to Steve DelBianco, executive director of NetChoice representing Internet companies, the bill would weigh down thousands of small online businesses in a confusing web of new taxes.

"The big loser - small businesses," DelBianco told CBS News, "The same small businesses we're counting on to create the jobs to pull us out of the recession."

What do you think about this legislation? Do you think it's about states' rights or just another source of revenue for governments? If it passes, will it change your online purchasing habits?

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Lissa K. July 30, 2012 at 09:30 PM
From a strictly logcal standpoint why wouldn't you pay sales taxes on on-line purchases. A sale is being made even if it's in cyberspace. But as a consumer I'd rather not be taxed. As far as changing purchasing habits I'd still shop around on- and off-line for the best (lowest) price.
Chuck Snow August 01, 2012 at 04:43 PM
I personally like the present system if you make an online purchase from a seller who is located in Georgia you pay sales tax and rightly so. But if I buy a product or service from a seller in Hong Kong who'll benefit from me paying sales tax. the answer is only the seller will, does anyone think he'll remit the tax to the state of Georgia,,, I don't think so. I just bought my wife a new car, I bought it in Florida who charged no sales tax on an out of state sale, but when I registered it and bought a tag in Ga, they taxed me to the max they got their fair share or all they could get away with anyway.. I buy and sell a few collectable music instruments on ebay that many times I just profit just a few dollars on. if I were forced to deal with sales tax I would stop immediately the few bucks that I can make on my hobby would not justify the hassel and paperwork involved with sales tax.. I'd be deprived the few dollars that I make and the merchants in my area would be deprived of the money I spend.
Chuck Snow August 01, 2012 at 05:09 PM
The question is whose tax would I pay for an online purchase, theirs or mine? who'd insure that it was remitted to the proper county, state or country? Would it require another govt agency for the taxpayers to fund? Would it be just another source of funds for out politicians to squander? Who's gonna oversee the agency created to collect the taxes, more politicians, bureaucrats and grifters? I see our government becoming more mafia like with every new tax and law that infringes on our freedom and right to privacy. they already regulate virtually every part of our lives up to and including the air that we breathe, the water we drink and the words we use. We no longer have elections we now have auctions, whoever has the most money to spend gets elected, then brings his cronies and lackys along to surround him with more protection than Al Capone ever needed. No I'm not for more taxes, what we need is tax relief!!!

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