By endorsing the controversial, complicated and deeply flawed Marketplace Fairness Act [“An online sales tax,” editorial, July 16], The Post neatly glossed over the myriad reasons why this measure is so hotly contested.
The editors want online sellers to “collect sales tax in exactly the same way as local businesses are already made to do,” but that’s exactly what happens now. Just as local retailers do, online and catalog sellers collect sales tax for every sale made into states where they have a store or distribution center.
But legislation endorsed by The Post would require Web retailers to collect sales tax for nearly 10,000 local jurisdictions. That’s akin to forcing local retail clerks to ask customers where they live, so the store can pay the hometown sales tax. The costs of collecting taxes for thousands of jurisdictions would place unique, unfair burdens on online businesses, which is the real aim of the big-box retailers backing the bill.
Efforts to simplify state sales taxes have made little progress, so tax advocates now want to ram an unfair bill through the legislative process.
Words like “simplification” and “fairness” sound appealing, but scratch the surface and it’s obvious this bill offers neither.
Steve DelBianco, Washington
The writer is executive director of NetChoice.