Today I read an article written by
Here is my response to her statements:
- Christley wrote, “That vote came shortly after the General Assembly approved a bipartisan transportation package whose funding formula includes online sales tax revenue. Also built into the package is the conditional gas tax increase. That back-up plan takes effect only if E-Fairness legislation isn’t approved.”
My response: At the time the “General Assembly approved a bipartisan transportation package” there was NO guarantee that it would sale through Congress. It was merely a political ploy to force an unpopular issue into the headlines. Passing legislation contingent on laws that do not even exist is not conservative it is ignorant.
- Christley wrote, “Since the Senate vote, the legislation has stalled in the House of Representatives. It has been bottled up in the Judiciary Committee Goodlatte chairs even though E-Fairness measures have broad support and align with conservative, free market economic principles.”
My response: Goodlatte wants to make sure bad law is not created. Christley what is the hurry? There are alternatives which would be more “fair” to all businesses. Take a few hours to read my blog.
- Christley wrote, “Applying the sales tax equally would end the status quo of government picking tax winners and losers. That’s one reason the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors, Roanoke City Council and the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce support E-Fairness. Also supportive are the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the American Conservative Union. They realize that while this country has too many taxes, it is only proper that they are assessed evenly.”
My response: A. Christley’s statement, “Applying sales tax equally would end the status quo of government picking the winners and losers” is a fantasy land statement. Take a moment to read Use Tax Evasion: Encouraged by Minnesota Lawmakers. If all transactions were taxed the same there would be no reason for states to be separate or compete on tax rates. B. Take a moment to read Marketplace Fairness Act: FAKE Conservative Opinions ARE for Sale. I would not be proud to mention or side with anything the American Conservative Union says. Some conservatives get paid for non-conservative opinions.
- Christley wrote, “The truth is far simpler, and not at all frightening. The Senate-approved E-Fairness bill specifies states must provide for merchants “a single sales and use tax return . . . to be filed with the single entity responsible for tax administration.”
My response: It is frightening. My two person business (my wife and I no other employees) sells online, over the telephone and also receives mail orders. About 40% of our sales are to tax exempt organizations. A single sales and use tax return is merely the end result after we have lived the nightmare of collecting exemption certificates and refunding sales tax on tax exempt orders placed online where taxes were applied. Also, telephone orders and mail orders do not automatically calculate the sales taxes owed themselves, it will be a paperwork nightmare. A three minute phone order today will take 10 or more minutes tomorrow (if the current Marketplace Fairness Act passes). My wife will have to look up each product to determine the taxability of each item based on the destination zip code. Telephone and mail orders will become a bureaucratic nightmare.
- Christley wrote, “A careful reading of the legislation likewise deflates the audit canard. It expressly shields merchants from liability when a tax calculation error is not their fault. It also makes figuring out what is owed simple – the legislation requires states to provide free tax software. And it specifies that the free software “calculates sales and use taxes due on each transaction” and “files sales and use tax returns” for merchants.
My response: I operate 5 website. Christley you obviously know very little about ecommerce. The purportedly free software does not prove software to determine sales to tax exempt organizations. Take a moment to read, Internet Sales Tax Exemption Certificate Software NOT Free. It actually starts at $3,000 plus fees per transaction. Exemption certificate management is very complicated. Today I only have to worry about collecting the certificates for orders from customers in Minnesota. It is simple for my wife and I now. However, errors do occur when you get overwhelmed with paperwork. Auditors will not look at the transactions where taxes were applied BUT to the ones where it was NOT. This is where the audit risk expands exponentially. The free software is a myth. I will have to re-code all of my websites and spend hours installing the software (time is money). I will also be paying additional credit card transaction fees for the additional taxes I am charging the customers. This will be at least an additional $1,200 plus per year in fees that I would have to pay (to be an uncompensated tax collector for states my business is not physically located in).
- Christley wrote, Bond “ignores the fact that major retail and business groups representing thousands of Virginia employers support E-Fairness because their livelihoods, and those of their workers, are at stake. E-Fairness would protect jobs for companies that invest in Virginia. It also exempts many small businesses — leading E-Fairness measures are written so they apply to businesses with more than $1 million in gross annual online sales.”
My Response: Major retail and business groups do support the Marketplace Fairness Act. Major retailers like Walmart, Target, Best Buy and other big box monsters that see this legislation as a way to crush the competition. Walmart’s Congressman Stave Womack started this legislation. Read some background on what started this legislation in motion, Wal-Mart Jilts the Consumer & Taxpayer: The Deception Behind the Internet Sales Tax. Some small businesses have been misled by big box propaganda to support the Marketplace Fairness Act. Read Are Big Money and Retail Organizations Using Small Businesses as Sheeple: Internet Sales Tax. This article shows how big business is manipulating the system through major propaganda campaigns targeting small businesses. Also, $1 million in retail sales is a small number. It will impact my 2 person company… and yes…we are a small mom and pop company. We do not have the resources that the billion dollar companies have to deal with these issues.