Internet Sales Tax = Taxation Without Representation

President Obama yesterday endorsed a Senate bill that would allow states to tax online purchases. Under this proposal, anything you buy online would be subject to new state and local sales taxes based on where you live.

This would impose onerous new burdens on both consumers and companies that sell online. The Heritage Foundation’s T. Elliot Gaiser explains the plan’s consequences:

The burden on businesses would be immense and would skew the playing field against online businesses and online consumers. “This means quizzing purchasers about their location, looking up the appropriate rules and regulations in more than 9,600 taxing jurisdictions across the country, and then collecting and remitting sales tax for that distant authority,” writes Andrew Moylan, senior fellow with the R Street Institute. “No brick-and-mortar shop has to do this for in-store sales, and yet every online retailer would have to do it for remote sales.”

The plan amounts to “taxation without representation,” Heritage President Jim DeMint wrote last year. Under the proposed arrangement, business owners would be subject to taxes over which they have no say.

Heritage Foundation expert David Addington elaborates:

Take, for example, a company whose workforce and warehouses are in New Hampshire. This company has no contacts with Illinois other than taking remote sales orders over the Internet.

The Internet sales tax proposal would allow Illinois politicians to use the New Hampshire company as their tax collector. The New Hampshire company would have to collect Illinois sales tax on its remote sales to Illinois residents and send the taxes to the Illinois state government.

“‘Brick-and-mortar’ stores like Wal-Mart are in favor of the Internet sales tax, because they see these online retailers as competitors,” Heritage’s Amy Payne writes. “But the other big proponents of the tax are state governments, which would be able to reach into other states for revenue.”

The bottom line? This tax will benefit politicians and special interests while hurting consumers and small businesses who conduct business online.

Do you think the Internet sales tax is fair?

Comments (155)

Anon I Mouse - April 23, 2013

Wait….I thought zerO said he would not increase taxes on middle class. Jokes on all you imbeciles that voted yourself tax increases

Cheryl - April 23, 2013

Where does it end? Tax us for living, tax us when we die, tax our health, tax every thing we buy… The country is already on the precipice of collapse but maybe that’s the “plan”??

Cindy Young - April 23, 2013

So everyone who sells on Ebay for a few extra bucks, would now have to be registered in 50 (or is it 52) states to file state sales tax. Ridiculous! I don’t even leave PA to sell at shows in neighboring states because I would have to register in that state and do all the extra paperwork to pay sales tax. And….once registered, you have to keep filing the tax returns even if you haven’t had any sales in that state.

Dan Kirby - April 23, 2013

I think Heritage is getting this one wrong. Cities, counties, schools, etc have been losing out on sales taxes ever since buying online began. I should not be able to dodge sales tax by buying on the net–this simply returns to the rule that everyone pays sales taxes on what they buy.

John Foell - April 23, 2013

On the other hand Brick and Mortar stores have the expense of a showroom, etc. and many internet sellers do not. Consumers are now visiting and looking at the Brick and Mortar stores but then buying on the internet. It seems the internet sellers have an unfair advantage because of this not having to charge sales tax. It is incredibly difficult to not pay sales tax at a B&M store – even if you are from out of state. There has to be some middle ground to solve this. If we ever went to a consumption tax such as the “Fair Tax” this problem would be exacerbated.

Fran MacAnally - April 23, 2013

No, it is not fair and as you say is not a fail representation. This administration will stop at nothing to tax and spend!

Michael O’Leary - April 23, 2013

As a former business owner I find this the most obscene way for the statists to advance an agenda. An agenda that would destroy thousands of start-up businesses and cottage industries. It would deny them possibly the only tool they might have, the internet, to get them over that initial marketing hump that makes the difference between success and failure. An internet sales tax would definitely eliminate a lot of competition that helps keep big retailers honest.

Yves Danneels - April 23, 2013

We already have an internet tax in NY but only for online retailers who also have a physical presence in the state. A universal internet sales tax is a bad idea because of the extra burden it places on online retailers. Whoever politician dreamed this up should be opposed and roundly defeated at the pols.

independent_forever - April 23, 2013

and YET the lunacy continues….our government is out of control but no one seems to want to stop the train barreling down the tracks at us…why is that? I see a lot of sites like this one speaking up about it but rarely see any progress towards defeating it…tell me I’m wrong. In answer–NO I don’t think it is fair. Local stores have not adapted to the new age of buying services and products and should go down if they can’t compete. It’s called FREE MARKETS and until lately it is what made this country great…I doubt we will see any change but I applaud you efforts…

Robert Harper - April 23, 2013

Sent Senator Blunt a “please vote against” via twitter. R H Harper

rebecca doe - April 23, 2013

This will be a nightmare….for online sellers and us! I’m praying that Heritage Foundation can come up with a powerful plan to rid us of this Congress (with a few sterling exceptions) and this president. We in the grassroots are working our backsides off calling, emailing, faxing, demonstrating, voting….it’s all falling on deaf ears. I sure do understand now why Jim DeMint walked away from it.

Donna - April 23, 2013

I buy a lot of items online, not because I’m trying to avoid paying taxes, but because it is more convenient (I don’t have to travel to the store and search for what I want) and because I have more selection and more information about brands/models/quality online. However, my state is now including a standard payment for sales tax on my income tax return. I either accept the standard or I have to keep track of everything I buy, how much sales tax I’ve paid, and how much sales tax I haven’t paid. How does the state’s requirement to do this fit with the “taxation without representation” argument? I’d rather have to pay tax on everything I buy online.

Bob - April 23, 2013

This proposal has the potential of causing many small business to cease operation. It is incomprehensible to believe that a small business could possibly face the potential of determining thousands of tax rates and then having the burden of remitting to all the states.

Don - April 23, 2013

The internet sales tax puts too much burden on the seller to collect taxes for all of the taxing authorities in the United States. The tax does not sound bad in theory but as a practical matter it will too expensive to implement.

Mark Baumgartel - April 23, 2013

I do NOT think an internet tax is appropriate! If you live within a state that has a sales tax, fine, otherwise if you are from a state that is not under that tax code, such taxation is a gross violation of the intended tax code! Congress, STOP with the never-ending power grabs!

Phil Ruppel - April 23, 2013

The internet sales tax is fair. Today many businesses on main street serving middle class Americans have a price disadvantage because of internet sales that do not have to collect that tax. The competitive advantage that internet companies always have is the immediate availability of product. The Heritage Foundation has bigger issues to go after than the sales tax one.

Pedro - April 23, 2013

I’d like to see taxes lowered everywhere possible. However, I’ve often thought online vendors have an unfair advantage over local “brick & mortar” stores. Some online purchases already include sales tax – depending on state. Maybe there could be a compensatory drop in other taxes (fat chance!) to even things out. But I’m in favor of folks supporting local shops (not just big chain stores) where they live. I say either sales tax is charged to everyone or no one. Thx! Keep up the fight.

Barton L. Hartzell - April 23, 2013

The internet sales tax would not be fiar, as it
would be “taxation without representation”, and would
be almost impossible to administer over 9,000 \taxing jurisdictions.

Jack Boyer - April 23, 2013

This boondoggle of a proposal is another part of reasoning for why we need to scrap the current tax codes and implement a Flat Tax.

Libby Blanks - April 23, 2013

Small sellers on EBAY would be adversely effected by having to figure, collect and pay sales taxes. Many would just stop selling, I know I will. If you are looking for unexpected consequences, try this one… What would happen to the US Postal Service if EBAY sales diminished significantly? The immense volume of EBAY package shipping is about the only thing keeping the US Postal Service in business. NO INTERNET SALES TAXES!

Eugene Jones - April 23, 2013

What this will do is cause people to slow down or stop buying on line. Making purchases on line is a cost saving measure for families and helps to grow the economy. I believe this will hurt small businesses and people in general.

Richard Anderson - April 23, 2013

NO A TAX ON INTERNET SAILES IS NOT FAIR in most cases you pay the freight on internet sales if you pay the sales tax also you will in most cases be paying more

Charles Boyd - April 23, 2013

The amount of work that the internet businesses would have to do would, in my opinion, make it impossible to do business, unless they limited it to just a few jurisdictions. I also have a problem with the penalty for local businesses who have to charge taxes to compete with the on line sales of internet companies who do not pay taxes. It makes no sense to force some to tax an ship and some to just tax.

Dale Athanas - April 23, 2013

Absolutely not. Just more government interference with business. As a business owner, i am against this even though I do not sell on-line. This needs to be defeated or we will have still more government interference with business and in our private lives. Government is most definitely the problem, not the solution.

Dewey Switzer - April 23, 2013

No. It is not fair! Another example of mis-management of funds by certain states. Most of which are liberal like Il., N.Y. Calif..Ct, Mass., New Hampshire. etc

Cynthia - April 23, 2013

I live in Michigan and senators Stabenow and Levin are what I’m stuck with. Those rocks don’t roll.
I’ve written letters to Stabenow and received letters in return from her staff. Its frustrating, exhausting and a hopeless effort with her.
Levin has stated he will not seek re-election. Shocker!

With an active West Michigan Tea Party, hopefully we won’t get a Republican candidate that the GOP saddles us with. The RHINO Party is a force to reckon with too.

J. Mraz - April 23, 2013

I order on line for the convenience, not to avoid sales tax that I would pay at a local store. If I order on line from a company that has a local store, I pay the same state & local tax on the on-line purchase. As long as the tax collected under this new law goes to the state, where the purchaser resides, I see no problem with it. I would have a problem with it, if it was a new tax that would go to the Federal government, or if it went to the state where the seller was located, and not to the state where the purchaser resides.
I can see that it puts some burden on the businesses to calculate and dispense the tax to the appropriate state, but most companies that are large enough to be required to do it, will have software available to help with that. Smaller on-line businesses should be exempt from the requirement.
Most large so-called brick and mortar stores are already collectng sales tax on on-line purchases, as well as the tax collected on in-store purchases. It’s the small local brick and mortar stores that may be hurt competing with some on-line sellers under the current status.

Charles Funk - April 23, 2013

The tax revenue goes to the very place that it would go if the purchaser had purchased in his or her own retail community location. The business collecting the tax does not keep the money nor does it stay in that business’ local taxin jurisdiction. It goes to the purchasers taxing jurisdiction. So, the purchaser is paying taxes were the representation takes place.

Rus - April 23, 2013

There is no law saying that I must buy a product only in the state where I reside. If I buy something in Indiana because of a better price, I pay Indiana’s sales tax, not Ohio’s. To be really fair, the same should apply for internet purchases – pay the tax where the merchant is located.

Marge Montague - April 23, 2013

No internet sales tax is not fair. I do not agree with it!
I am retired on a fixed income and shop online. Gasoline is expensive so I save by staying at home & shop.

Jim Dwire - April 23, 2013

The thousands or millions of small internet sellers will be forced out of the market by the requirements of this proposal. They have no ability to manage 9600 taxing juridictions and will as a result be in noncompliance with the law. Competition will decrease, prices will rise and unemployment will increase. This is another government attempt to acquire and waste more taxes. his is BAD for America!!

Linda Gilman - April 23, 2013

Our forefathers staged a tea party about 250 years ago over just such taxation without representation – and it’s happening all over again. It’s hard enough for businesses as it is without saddling them with this extra burden – that just gets passed along to us, the consumer. Enough already!

Jacques Kerrest - April 23, 2013

Absolutely incomprehensible that even Republicans would vote for this. I am a small businessman and I am ready to give up! Jacques

Phillip - April 23, 2013

Is there anything they won’t tax? I’m starting to believe there isn’t. The Democrats and liberals want to take every cent from the taxpayer and leave them dependent on the ‘good’ intentions of the government. It’s time to draw the line.

Uncle Tim - April 23, 2013

If a business in New Hampshire objects to collecting Illinois sales tax, it can choose not to sell to Illinois residents. The pervasiveness of the Internet makes revisiting the definition of nexus imperative. Pretending online commerce is not happening inside the jurisdictions where sales taxes are imposed is unfair to consumers who don’t have the opportunity to buy online in addition to the brick and mortar businesses. Ultimately someone must pay. Otherwise all we’ll be left with to respond to real world fires are virtual fire trucks. The post office already has a 13 digit code for every deliverable location in America. Cross-referencing these to the 9600 sales tax jurisdictions is considerably more straightforward than the Internal Revenue Code, so the “burdensome” argument seems pretty thin.

Ken Marx - April 23, 2013

This would be a nightmare for small internet businesses. It would take an army of accountants to track and pay the taxes going to nearly 10,000 tax authorities. Small internet businesses would have the choice to hire more people or go out of business. Let’s guess which would happen.

Kevin Akers - April 23, 2013

“Taxation without Representation”: there is nothing more to say other than the “President” replaces his title and the Oval Office with a crown and throne room.
Also, I’m fine having to pay local sales tax on items that I buy in my home state; paying taxes for other states, NO WAY!!!

John - April 23, 2013

No online tax

John Martin - April 23, 2013

The majority of people that purchase items on-line do this for the simple reason of saving monies. If we add taxes along with shipping, it will make those items cost prohibitive in many instances. This is really a case of saving money in a very hard economy. If I could not save money on internet items, I would spend less money and hurt the economy even more. I believe there are many people that fell the same way.

John Engelhart - April 23, 2013

The company who is selling into another state should remit to that state for the STATE WIDE sales tax, never to the locals tax program. Those company’s or individuals would have only 50 entries, with computers that would be quite easy.
after all they made a profit on the sale, why should they not send in taxes like a company within a state.

Rick Bailey - April 23, 2013


Gerald Key - April 23, 2013

Locals get tax money for items not available locally.

Nico Luijt - April 23, 2013

How would China, for instance, handle the sales taxes it would collect. Their eventual tax collection bureaucracy would probably double if not triple the prices of their wares. The result would be a nightmare and not only for them, but also for sales inside the U.S. Even within the U.S. the administrative costs would be prohibitive.

Barbara J Warren - April 23, 2013

No tax on internet purchases.It will cause a hardship on taxpayers and businesses .

Bonnie Koops - April 23, 2013

I do not want taxes on the internet. Government thinks they have a right to tax everything. In one state there is even a rain tax. We earned our money not government. What has government done for the people it supposedly works We are slaves of government not the other way around. Government takes from us to fart the money away on any frivolous thing they choose. Stop spending MY MONEY on countries that hate us, Egypt,etc. and use the excuse they are giving us intelligence. How intelligent is it to trust our enemies.STUPID!So long story short if you do not have the money do not spend it and a big NO to more taxes of any kind. Government has done enough damage to this country. We are close to a socialist country and I don’t want to be one..period.

Jack Culpepper - April 23, 2013

Internet companies and their sales are not taxed and that is an unfair advantage for them over original brick and mortar retail stores that do have taxes. Brick and Mortar Retailers are struggling for survival today as tax free sales on the internet continue to grow each year and can offer their products for sale for less. What’s fair is fair so let’s drop the taxes for all brick and mortar retailers as well. I am certainly not a fan of taxes at all but if we have them on one retail group but not the other you will continue to see amazon grow and barnes and noble close.

Fred Bloggs - April 23, 2013

Two words in the English language should never be used in the same sentence with “fair.” One of them is “taxation.” (The other word is “punishment.”)
Of course whether a tax is viewed as “fair” depends entirely on who is talking: the payor or the beneficiaries. From the standpoint of taxpayers and proponents of smaller government, however, the proposed Internet sales tax is a very bad policy idea.

Michael D Armstrong Jr - April 23, 2013

I do not agree with states being able to wantonly tax internet sales where they are able to tax behind an intangible screen with no accountablility for the rates they choose to assess. It also becomes burdensome for the seller who would have to develop “auditible” systems to track, report, and pay the tax.
Here in Idaho our personal income tax return includes a line to declare internet purchases for the purpose of assessing use tax, but the law makers are local and must face the voters. We are not being assessed taxes from some distant state whose budget and social program choices may not be the same as ours. Each state should be responsible for its own spending choices and not have a way to push the off consequences on to other states that have balanced their own budgets.

Kim Stephenson - April 23, 2013

It’s just as fair as is the sales tax for bricks and mortar stores. As it is now, customers do their shopping at bricks and mortar stores and buy online. The shipping is usually less than the related sales/use tax. Level the playing field; have everybody pay state and local taxes.

Henry Wagner - April 23, 2013

Yes, I think the internet sales tax is “fair”.
Sales tax is a tax on the consumer. The tax is levied by the state/county/city where the consumer voted in favor of the tax. The retailer simply collects the tax and passes it on the the government. It seems quite unfair for the government to steer the consumer to one retailer over another. Let the retailers compete without
the influence of a corrupt government. Personally, I prefer a flat income tax applied absloutely equally to all income (no progressive taxation) as the only source of government taxes. A sales tax may be the second best alternative as long as the government can’t decide which retailers are required to collect the tax and which are not.

Grant Peterson - April 23, 2013

Since details of this bill are just now coming forth, I worry there maybe other details we may now know about until the bill is passed, much like ObamaCare. I don’t feel this is a fair bill, though I do have some sympathy for brick and mortar companies who compete with internet companies who don’t have sale tax. The Idaho legislature looked at a bill this year which would have supported sales taxes from internet purchases but did not pass the bill.

Diane - April 23, 2013

No, the internet sales tax is not fair. The Feds need to tackle our budget and spending problems, not look for new ways to tax us.

Paul Schmehl - April 23, 2013

I think the first part of this argument is weak. The bill mandates software that would be provided free of charge to online retailers and would take care of all the labyrinthine tax laws in the 50 states. That ameliorates the burden placed upon online retailers.

Existing brick and mortar businesses act as uncompensated collection agents for the states within which they do business. Online retailers would do the same for all fifty states.

I think the second argument is much better. This is just a way for politicians to grab more of our hard earned dollars to satisfy their need to placate a thousand constituencies.

My preference would be to eliminate sales tax entirely for all retailers.

Neal Clacher - April 23, 2013

Todays politicians of both parties, mostly Democrats but way too many Republicans have never seen a tax they did not like. I believe that if they get their way with this State and Local sales tax scam they will try next year to get a Federal Sales Tax on internet sales and once again the will roll out the fairness argument. The sad thing is that way too many people are not paying attention and many do not care because they have no skin in the game right now and they think it will continue the way it is, Socialism Is Great Until You Run Out of Other People’s Money.

Kathleen Lichtenauer - April 23, 2013

Our state taxes are rising so much already. Look at our Rain Tax here in MDWe feel the need to go elsewhere soon. Our church is even going to suffer.
What else can they tax?
Please fight to keep this from happening.
I am impressed with the informational resources I can access at Heritage.

Gordon Foote - April 23, 2013

The tax is not on the business, but rather on the consumer. The unfair part of sales taxes is that the business becomes the state tax collector and is responsible to not only collect the tax, but report and be responsible for and liable for the amount due. In Nevada and I assume most other states we have a Sales and Use Tax, which means that a tax is supposed to be paid to the State, County, City when the purchase is made or by the consumer who uses the product. Collecting the Use Tax has never been too successful.

Millard Huff - April 23, 2013

If this pases i’m out of business

Steve - April 23, 2013

The Internet Sales Tax would certainly further cripple this economy which is doing it’s best to keep moving despite all of the onerous taxes and regulations.
Forcing a business in another state to collect taxes for another is a violation between the people and the elected representatives.
We The People will not stand for this violation of taxation without representation and will let our representatives know that they are in trouble for allowing this monstrosity to go through the Senate and those who vote for it in the House will also feel the of removal from office.

Steven Haver - April 23, 2013

It appears, to me, that the constitutionality of such taxes should be the same as that of State “use” taxes. That said, it is up to the Congress to legislate procedures which minimize sellers’ costs to accomplish compliance.

Gary Mickelson - April 23, 2013

Next your toilet will be metered and you’ll be taxed per ‘deposit’ to save the sewage system. There will be no end to this. Tax and spend liberals may be a stereotype, but it’s an accurate stereotype.

William Dinger - April 23, 2013

We have too many Taxes already. Read My Lips, No More Tax…..

Ronald Bowser - April 23, 2013

We need to throw out all the older senators and representatives. This spending is totally out of hand and needs to stop. NO MORE TAXING, NO MORE SPENDING.

Carol Shrider - April 23, 2013

No. Bureaucratic nightmare. Already pay tax based upon ship to address where online vendor has brick &mortar location there. The MOST that should be permitted is a uniform state tax based upon the ship to address. 50 sets of rules is bad enough. No local tax add ons! Any tax should be a states rights issue only… NOT the Feds. Not the locals. Should NOT be based upon legal residence.

Paul - April 23, 2013

No, the internet sales tax is not fair. I already collect sales tax for Georgia, and that is confusing enough. I will not collect and file taxes for other states. If this becomes law I will restrict my business to Georgia and other countries, stick to my local event business, or just go out of business. This proposal is a RIDICULOUS idea!

Art Weed - April 23, 2013

Sales tax on Internet sales is absolutely fair.. Tax should be paid to whatever political subdivision that the product is delivered to. Bricks and mortar retailers have to pay the tax and nobody should be able to build a business based on a tax advantage. Shopping for goods at a retailer and then buying the product tax free on the Internet is a travesty. This is strickly a fairness issue.

madeline iannucci - April 23, 2013

The tax is fair it evens the playing field for small stores and large box stores that must compete with on line sales.

Jerry Weygandt - April 23, 2013

1) Why is a tax originating in the Senate? I thought that taxes had to start in the House.
2) Does this bill stand a chance in the House? If not, why is everyone wasting ammo.

Clarence Gardner - April 23, 2013

Both taxing internet purchases and not taxing internet purchases are UNFAIR to certain groups. Fairness needs to give way other more applicable principles. Like the extra stimulation no tax collecting gives to small business. We’ve given away billions of dollars to stimulate business in the country. Isn’t forgoing taxes less expensive to the economy than taxing everyone would be. BIG companies also sell on the internet. Don’t they get a break by not having to collect sales tax?
Collecting taxes may cost more to police collecting and to fight fraud concerning the money which is collected than the process is worth. Has anyone done a cost anaysis of how much colleting and sending in sales tax from the internet will cost?

Joe Shafer - April 23, 2013

I don’t agree. The loss of local sales tax only increases our local taxes. If internet sales want to sell they should play by the same rules as local business and collect and pay taxes. every seller has a responsibility to collect and submit taxes

James C Opicka - April 23, 2013

Katie Neilsen, there is a well known manufacture of fine wood working tools with the same last name as yours. If I purchase one of his wood planes from my local Woodcraft store I will pay state tax on the purchase. Some of his planes cost over $200.00. The tax on the $200.00 plane is about $14.00. If I purchase the same plane from Amazon there is no sales tax and because the cost is high I get free shipping. The incentive is to buy from Amazon. The state has lost $14.00 in tax revenue and my local store owner has lost income needed to keep his store open. My local Woodcraft store employs people with wood working skills that are paid a better wage than a hamburg flipper. The wages paid to the employees are taxed by state and if the store is closed due to unfair completion the loss to the state amounts to considerably more than the $14.00.

I thought that Jim DeMint was more that an ordinary politician, I am apparently mistaken. His convoluted statement, “Under the proposed arrangement, business owners would be subject to taxes over which they have no say.” This is pure political Hippo Coperous. (phonetic spelling – get someone that speaks Greek to translate it for you.) Businesses have no say over the tax collected whether they come from local businesses or big online companies they just handle it for the state. “Taxation without Representation” is more Hippo Coperous.

I have been conservative long before there was a Heritage Foundation and this line of reasoning causes me to reconsider my membership and small support for the organization. I am ready to abandon the Republican Party with the likes of John Boehner and his lackies. We have stopped sending contributions to this lack luster bunch who promotes the likes of Mitt Romney and John McCain for president. If that is the best they can do I am opting out. James C Opicka

Rick ChrIston - April 23, 2013

I am sick to death of the Washington leeches?
Tax this, tax that.
Enough already !
Start cutting now, and not your baseline reduction crap.
Real cuts, now!

John Haggstrom - April 23, 2013

I have mixed feelings. I also sympathize will small brick and mortar businesses in high sales tax states and cities that must compete online retailers.

M. Masters - April 23, 2013

Just stop with the taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s time for Americans to JUST SAY NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wake up Americans – only WE can defend ourselves from a government that has an insatiable appetite for OUR money that WE work for. It’s time for us to get serious about throwing tax and spend Congress people out of office, not matter what label they wear, and to vote in representatives that stop this madness.

Clarence D - April 23, 2013

This is just one more of Obama’s and the Democrat’s broken promises not to tax the poor. Remember one of the first things they did was to tax tobacco, and almost doubled the price to roll your own. You and I may disapprove of smoking but I know for a fact it hit the poor much harder than the rich. The Democrat’s and Obama do not know how FREE ENTERPRISE works and are killing our country. God please save America and stop these guys in Washington from stopping Free Enterprise from working. Don’t force small business to collect and report more taxes. It’s hard enough to try to keep the doors open right now. Please no more Government interference!

A F McSwain - April 23, 2013

NO, the Internet Sales Tax is not fair. There is no end to the taxing that this administration will employ to satisfy their own greed for power and money.

Jim Tidwell - April 23, 2013

I oppose giving either my state or federal government any more tax money to spend on things I don’t support, whatever form the tax takes. Period! Let’s LOWER taxes.
Jim Tidwell

Daniel Schultz - April 23, 2013

As a former owner of a mail order manufacturing company for many years, I am in opposition for this obvious effort to fix a “problem” which does not exist and in the process create many problems and skew the marketplace to benefit “special interests” of the major players in this market and inflate costs to the emerging smaller players.

Norma Perez - April 23, 2013

Thank you for all your Daily Updates and America’s happenings and thanks for Mr. DeMint. I will become a member and donate also asap. Norma

John Fritz - April 23, 2013

Internet sales tax is just another manifestation of BIG BROTHERISM. Just how is it that the federal government can give states the permission to collect sales tax in another state? Didn’t they ever hear of the 10th Amendment?

Tom Schroeder - April 23, 2013

I think appropriate sales tax should be paid for every purchase made. Period.

Jack Hogeland - April 23, 2013


C. Beaudette - April 23, 2013

As a retail business, I have enough taxes to collect for governments w/o compensation and at the expense of my time or my payment to someone else to do it for me. When those same governments want to pay me what an IRS employee is paid, I’d might think it was a paid imposition. As it is, their proposal is a form of slavery.

Diane Munkirs - April 23, 2013


Mike - April 23, 2013

Politicians need to find something else to do besides finding more ways to tax us. It is only proper for business to tax customers, regardless of where the customer is located, based on the tax laws in the same state as the business. Isn’t it already unconstitutional for states to tax, or tariff, goods between states?

Miriam Nestler - April 23, 2013

I want to know what liberal cause the feds plan to use this tax for! Of course it is not fair, but more to the point is that it is foolish! I though liberals bragged about being for the little guy, small business, helping the economy…….right!

Raymond - April 23, 2013

For the stated reason above “No brick-and-mortar shop has to do this for in-store sales, and yet every online retailer would have to do it for remote sales.”

Mylan Mann - April 23, 2013

Someone in Minnesota sells me an item for $10.00 on EBay. The sales tax for Santa Clara County, CA. would be $0.875 (had I lived lived in San Mateo County the tax would have been $0.90). The States portion of this would have been $0.80. So this seller would have to send $0.075 To Santa Clara County and $0.80 to the State of CA. Multiply this by 5,000 or 6,000 sales and you can see how ridiculous it becomes. How stupid are the politicians if they pass this.

Jack - April 23, 2013

Of course this is not fair. There 50 different tax rates and sales tax collection mechanisms in this country alone, it would be a nightmare to do this. Why not, if this is necessary, impose a national sales tax, to be collected by the Fed. Govt. and then distrubuted to the States?

Sherry Hendricks - April 24, 2013

In Michigan, taxpayers are supposed to voluntarily pay 6 % use tax on online purchases. Only a minority of persons are honest enough to pay this tax, so it has always seemed unfair to be one of the few persons who pays the tax. I am always glad when it is collected by the online seller, so I don’t have to keep track of it for the year end tax return.

Critter - April 24, 2013

Should congress pass such legislation I think it would only be fair that each senator/representative that voted for the legislation be mandated to furnish a printed copy of every tax law from each and every state/jurisdiction and personally deliver to each and every business in every state. That would keep all politicians very busy and prevent them from passing any more legislation and a bonus- they would get to travel and see every city, town and hamlet at their OWN expense.

Donald F. Papouschek - April 24, 2013

FAIR — If it would be a consumption tax like HB25 and S 298
By including the Consumption Tax amount in the price of the item. It appears all the negative objects\ions above would go out the window as these other taxes would be eliminated or could be eliminated depending how the Bill would be finally worded.

A lot easier to monitor that smaller number of returns than the over 200,000,000 income Tax returns yearly.

I hope someone there reads this and will take the time to give me a reply I Understand there are already about 60 sponsors for this Bill in the House.

Would sincerly like, a thought out, reply. not a canned one like most of our elected reps like to send out. With the exception of Representative Frank LoBiond R NJ. He acually phones us back himself. Did you know that?

Thanks, from a supporter.. Don

Lyle Hood - April 24, 2013

We already pay enough to have our ISP’s so we can be on the net. I am for Gov hands off the net.

Robert Diffley - April 24, 2013

Internet vendors should pay a sales tax. Simply take an average tax rate and apply it to all sales in all states. Vendors can send tax receipts to the various states. It is not fair to the brick and mortar retailers to have to compete with people who pay no taxes.

James Pearce - April 24, 2013

Just another of Big Federal Government wanting to stick their hands into the pockets of Americans and the Internet businesses. This is taxation without representation for sure. It will be just another attempt by the Fed to grab for more money to fuel the liberal democratic engine to make every American dependent on Government, with the government having a say in everything we do. The founding fathers never intended for our Government to be this big or run in such a manner.

Rich Richard - April 24, 2013

The tax is imposed on the purchaser, by the state he lives in. The seller is merely collecting the tax and forwarding to that state, exactly as is done by all businesses in state. As far as obtaining the information on the tax, I bet an easy format, geared to the taxes in that zip code they are billing or shipping to, could solve the problem easily. I am conservative, and want a smaller and limited government, but these sales are losing milliions of dollars in taxes to the states because people are buying on line instead of in the stores. Not fair to the state, and collecting the tax is fair to everyone and no great burden on the seller..

R Jipson - April 24, 2013

Just one more money grab. There is no end to the Dems voracious appitite.

Gerrit van Ommering - April 24, 2013

The Internet sales tax is clearly not fair. Government taxation of an activity can be argued, qualitatively at least, to be fair if the government provides infrastructure or necessary services that help enable that activity. So if I drive to a store on public roads and the merchandise gets to the store on public roads, and the location is safe, I can argue that some level of tax to maintain that capability and public safety is not unreasonable. But Internet sales across state lines, and even within a state, don’t fall under that logic. I can see taxing UPS and FedEx based on their cargo traffic in or through a state as that would use public infrastructure, and I bet they are “taxed enough already” on that. And if UPS and FedEx pass that on to us in their rates, as I’m sure they already do, I can understand that too.
But a reason Internet sales are rising is that they are very competitive because the business model uses less infrastructure more efficiently, to the benefit of the public. Thus, if it should be taxed, it should be at a substantially lower rate than traditional sales. And it would be simpler, more defensible, and more efficient to collect that lower tax via the few services in the value chain that actually utilize the public infrastructure, such as the delivery services.

Deborah Grimes - April 24, 2013

I agree with Senator Jim DeMint, that states should continue only to be able to tax purchases made at businesses within their borders. States should not be able to tax citizens and businesses that are not within their jurisdiction. Online sales tax proposals are taxation without representation, and will lead to various abuses.
They will reduce the need for states to try to be competitive, taxwise. They are just another way for government to take more from citizens who would
have no say in the process.

kenneth safran - April 24, 2013

enough of these corrupted thugs trying to bleed us every way they can ,no way they should extort taxes on our internets!

Thomas kelly - April 24, 2013

This tax is a bad will hurt the small business . And it will help the big company’s and government . Enough already.

Larry Miller - April 24, 2013

Fairness has little to do with the attitude of our Congress when they legislate. WE pay for the games they play. They are seldom, if ever, held accountable…

Dale Coleman - April 24, 2013

No way. The internet sale tax is not about a need for revenue to provide needed public services. This tax is about greedy politicians.

Steve Gilbertson - April 24, 2013

If they are going to push ahead with this tax , then it should be a flat tax across the nation, it should be collected and sent into only 1 location per State, and the states must reduce there sales tax to match the flat tax.IE; a 4% tax on line, and the states must reduce the tax they collect in the brick and mortor locations to 4% also. This MUST be a zero net gain !!

Pete Houston - April 24, 2013

I think the tax should be collected in the state that the sale takes place. So if their is no sales tax in the state where the seller is physically located to make the sale, then no sales tax. Stupid to make the company to send out monthly or quarterly tax payments to multiple states each payment event. Sales tax collected only for one state.

Don - April 24, 2013

Of course NOT. It’s has to be a liberal idea; therefore, it is WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael J Norby - April 24, 2013

You are off base on this one! Those poor online businesses will have to incur costs just like their bricks-n-motar competition. Too bad!! It’s called leveling the playing field! Rethink your position Heritage!!
From a small independent retailer in MN!

Jim and Sue Ross - April 24, 2013

The internet tax is tax without representation. People save time by ordering on the Internet. We also save energy by not driving all over to buy a product, thus the local stores do not have so much stock on hand and the consumer gets a larger selection. Internet buying also reduces exposure to bacteria, bombs and nut cases. Stop spending and reduce size of government. NO Internet tax!

Andy Wilson - April 24, 2013

An internet site not paying the sales tax is not fair because the local businesses who sell the same product have to charge the sales tax. The government is selecting which business model will succeed by the tax code.
Your taxation with representation comment is the norm. I own property where I do not live but do not get to vote in the area where the property is located.

Jeff Jones - April 24, 2013

What we need is “The Fair Tax” Bill H.R 25 and S. 122

Dale Gustafson - April 24, 2013

The internet tax is unfair. However catalog sales of many items are already taxed in at least some states.

Heidi B Hernandez - April 24, 2013

No I do not think it is fair

S Schumacher - April 24, 2013

Another really bad idea out of the Obama administration!
Is anyone really surprised?

James R Bourg - April 24, 2013

Do I think the internet sales tax is fair?
Of course – it’s long overdue, but the feds have always needed to clear the way for the states to be able to accomplish this “FAIR PLAYING GROUND”.

Gary McCargar - April 24, 2013

This is taxation without representation as I have no other representation in the other 49 states and approx. 9600 taxation districts. This bill needs to be voted down and killed.

Jeanette D. Tornga - April 24, 2013

I believe this to be very detrimental to all businesses regardless of their size. There would be too many hoops which would destroy the opportunities for business to survive. The government needs to keep their hands off the internet, it has worked very smoothly without their interference or taxation.
Free internet grows business.
Jan Tornga

Thomas E. Baroody - April 24, 2013

I am wholeheartedly against the proposed Internet sales tax. It would be a killer for thousands of small businesses which simply do not have the resources or time to collect taxes from over 9,600 taxing jurisdictions in the U.S. It is also grossly unfair to consumers who would not only have to pay for shipping, but also be imposed a new tax on their purchases. It would only benefit the big brick and mortar retailers like Walmart, Saks, etc. and large Internet companies like who can afford lobbyists to carve out their own special exemptions.

Rodger Lewis - April 24, 2013

Heritage is wrong on this one.
The present system has made an un-level playing field for the competition between local businesses and online businesses selling the same goods.
If online vendors do not charge the 8% sales tax to Texas buyers, they start off with an 8% price advantage over the local merchants–and the local merchants already pay local property taxes and support the community.
It is quite simple for online merchants to know where to send the collected sales tax since they have a shipping address ZIP code for every sale.

Judith Syrett - April 24, 2013

I agree with what you are saying. In addition most states already have a method of collecting called “use tax” which deals with out of state purchases, both mail order & internet.

BOB MOYER - April 24, 2013

Tax is fair. Shipping address gives them all they need to determine rates to charge and where to send the money. Situation now is unfair to brick and mortar vendors.

Will VanLeer - April 24, 2013

This is the first time I have seen Heritage put out incorrect info to disparage legislation. The sales tax goes to the resident’s state, just like buying locally. Online retailers with less than $1M in online sales are exempted.

Gilbert Sarvis - April 24, 2013

For the fees that Ebay charges, they could easily add the sales tax to any sale based on shipping address and remit it directly to the states. This would be a plus for the small seller if Ebay markets it correctly. They would be registered, and not the seller.

Sherry - April 24, 2013

Of Course it’s not fair! A lot of people shop on-line because they NEED to find a deal, they can’t afford to pay full price. This is just another way to tax the poor and middle class. The government is so greedy, up-ward mobility be dammed!!

butterflylady38 - April 24, 2013

I had a stroke 2 years ago and do not get around very easy- so I do 99%of my shopping on line…do not want to have to pay a lot of extra tax for my products I buy. Do all my Christmas shopping on line over a period of the year=- this gvt. is tax more!!!

Clyde Mayes - April 24, 2013

I think that this tax is horrible for both the sell and buyer. How does a seller in one state know the state and local tax rate of a buyer in another state?

David Eichmann - April 24, 2013

I have no real problem with my paying tax on what I purchase online. As to the burden on the company selling me something, they already question me as to where I reside (in order to ship it to me). There are programs which do all this for a company. The idea of taxation without representation is in error, because I am the one being taxed, not the business. I have witnessed many local businesses being shuttered, as customers visit them to view and ask questions, then go online to buy it more cheaply. That’s a shame. Our economy can easily handle paying the sales tax, as that is the current state law. Just my “2%” worth. The REAL wrong here is that the burden is on the company to collect it, as opposed to the consumer being honest enough to send it in to the government entity! Let the government take the risk.

samuel D Gerrish - April 24, 2013

Adds dollars to the bottom line while collecting pennies in taxes. The administrative costs for the online business would have to be paid by consumers. A bad deal all around.

Mark - April 24, 2013

I oppose any new tax. But, if we deem it necessary to recoup revenue lost to internet sales, then the tax should at least be the other way around. The state and locality in which the business operates should receive the tax. That way, the business operator only needs to be familiar with one set of tax policy and only has to remit payment to one location. Additionally, states will still have some pressure to keep their taxes lower. Most people have limited say on where they live (it usually has something to do with their jobs). But businesses that believe that their state taxes hurt their bottom line, can and do move to states that are more business-freindly.
The plan as written, deliberately ignores the huge administrative burdens it places on internet retailers that come with having to know the policies for and file taxes to over a thousand different localities, because they like the idea that a state can raise taxes as much as it wants and online retailers can’t do anything about it.

Tracy Jones - April 24, 2013

This is the most blatant taxation without representation if i ever saw one!!!!!!!!!!!NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION.NO AND’S IF’S OR BUT’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mora - April 24, 2013

I am disappointed in Heritage citing online vendors being subject to “taxation without representation”. It is not the vendors who are asked to pay the tax, only to administer it, as do brick and mortar stores. Sales tax is a consumer tax. In my state, vendors are actually paid a modest commission for collecting the tax. The burden facing online vendors is that of administering sales tax for jurisdictions all over the country, why not the world? Currently my state depends on voluntary reporting on the income tax return. My guess is that compliance is very low. That state that imposes an assumed sales tax obligation on the individual tax return unless the taxpayer proves different may be onto something. On the individual level, as online purchases generally show up directly on bank or credit card statements. It isn’t that hard to review those statements to come up with a reliable figure for untaxed taxable purchases. Heritage also calls state and local sales taxes “new” taxes. Isn’t Heritage referring to the taxes already in force for in-jurisdiction purchases?
I hope not to ever see Heritage abuse the language like this again. It gives cause to follow Heritage with a high degree of scepticism.

GAIL JERNIGAN - April 24, 2013

Folks we need to demand that the Congress & the Senate bring everything to a vote that the people can vote on after all they work for us, we do not work for them. They sit up there in DC on their duffs and just give themselves raises. Come 2014 we the people need to get rid of all these tax raises setters. I don’t know about the rest of you all but I am angry and we shouldn’t take it anymore. I am so tired of turning on the news and hearing about some new right they want to take away. They should take away the rights of the illegals they have no rights to even be in this country. Think people I lives were not perfect but it was a lot easier before this Obama character came on the scene . He told us he wanted to fundementally change America and we are lettting him do it.

Victress Jenkins - April 24, 2013

Until the government can replace the personal income tax with a national sales tax, the idea should be put in file 13b – the shredder!!! Sales taxes are unfair to those who have very little income.

Mark - April 24, 2013

NO INTERNET SALES TAX! NO MORE NEW TAXES PERIOD! Enough with the taxes. The clowns in Washington DC are always crying about the “greedy fat cats”, but who are the ones who constantly have their hand out for more. No matter how much we give them, they still need more. How about a stupid, useless, incompetent politician tax? We keep the salary of each politician matching this description and before you know it we have a surplus!

Ouray - April 24, 2013

This is yet more GI COLI (“guy coli”) – Government Induced Cost of Living Increase. GI COLI by any name must be reversed if we are to have the growth necessary to employ and serve our people.

Sherree - April 24, 2013

We have a small business that sells in all 50 states, and we have to pay tax to many of them. It is an accounting nightmare, so I can understand how extremely difficult it would be for someone who might not even have an accounting staff! Vote no to the Internet sales tax. I believe that President Obama will go down in history as the WORST American president! I only wish there had been enough Americans who are not on the government “entitlement” payroll to keep him from a second term!

Jeff G. - April 24, 2013

This is long overdue but not in its’ present form. Online businesses should have to collect the state sales tax only for those states that have one. Then, let the states determine whether any monies should go to the locality where the purchaser lives and if so, let the state take on the burden of handling that process. And actually, what would be even more fair, is just to have the purchaser pay the tax where the merchant is located.

Jeff Krumrich - April 24, 2013

Heritage is wrong. We need to tax internet sales to make the business playing field level. As of today you can save $60.00 when you buy a $1000 TV on the internet which makes their TV cheaper if you are the type who fails to file taxes properly. Do you think the sales tax is easy on small business in small towns?


Cy - April 24, 2013

Oh,sure! We don’t get taxed enough already by baraka obango and his merry band of criminals. I hpoe all you morons that voted for this thing (obango) are happy now with your new found poverty.

Roger Kennedy - April 24, 2013

I’m not in favor of internet tax, it will cause uneeded work and cost to the online retailer and shopper. Gov’t wants to tax everything, and it isn’t only the liberal left (socialists) that wants to tax.

Ron - April 24, 2013

It is interesting that every time we are told by the criminals in Washington D.C. that there will be no raise in taxes, they raise our taxes. Call it whatever you want to, it is all about taking our money to make us all more dependent on the government.

Mr Robert L Milne - April 24, 2013

The greed of the Obama Administration and the Political Class is overwhelming. Along with their total disdain for this country and it’s economy, as long as it serves their political agenda..

Ken & Judi Simon - April 24, 2013

This appears to be the step just before our fed government finds a way to collect taxes imposed by the United Nations.
Ken & Judi Simon

Mike - April 24, 2013

This is not new taxes, it’s a question of how a tax is collected. I own a small business in a somewhat small town that leases space, pays local taxes, supports other local businesses and charities, provides jobs, etc. We are pretty good at competing with anyone on price and service. But a potential customer can choose to buy from an online out-of-state company that doesn’t have a “physical” location in our state and not pay the sales tax that they actually owe even though they purchased from out-of-state. On a moderate to large purchase this can be a decision maker. With the need to carry higher overhead than an online company, it’s really tough to eat another 7% just to get a sale. So, the money leaves our town to support a company in another state who does nothing for our local economy, the customer commits tax evasion, and our local and state economy take the hit. I don’t think the current system is the answer. I think if you’re going to set up shop in a location, whether it’s online or in a physical store, you have to comply with the local tax laws. If that means collecting sales tax, so be it.

Virginia Williams - April 25, 2013

When are you all who think this internet sales tax is ok going to understand what our government is doing? This is not their domain! They in no way shape or form have anything to do with regulation of commerce over the net. The State of Virginia has already spent tax money they think they will collect!!!!!!! Stop and think, small businesses would have to hire extra accountants just to keep up with filing taxes in every state in the Union. Stop and think…stop spending our tax money on the stupid stuff and you won’t need to milk any more out of us!

Susan Guimaraes - April 25, 2013

NO!!!! I do not believe that we need an additional tax on ANYTHING!!!! I am so tired of the government trying to tax their way into prosperity. Cut taxes and you will see the economy respond in favor!!!

Margaret - April 26, 2013

No it is not fair and it is a dangerous precedent to help the United Nations gain control of the internet and tax every nation thus becoming more powerful.

Ann Van Brunt - April 26, 2013


Ken Wyman - April 26, 2013

Mr. Kirby, where is the rule that states that everyone must pay sales tax on what they buy?

Holly Chapo - April 28, 2013

My answer to the question: a resounding NO!!
Leave it to our dysfunctional Congress to come up with one more way to overburden Americans with more taxes. Have they no understanding of what promotes opportunity and creates prosperity? Heritage, you ought to provide them with a lecture on the economic realities a la Milton Friedman.

Matthew Burmeister - April 30, 2013

The internet sales tax isn’t a bad idea, it’s just done wrong.

What if we had a federal universal internet sales tax, calculated by averaging the sales tax from all 50 states yearly, and then instead of that money going to the federal government, it gets evenly distributed among all states. The individual states then would distribute the revenue to their counties. It would be fair while being easy to the retailer.

However a system would have to be established to allow for representation of the tax payers.

Our states and counties need our tax dollars to provide us with necessary and critical services. The federal government does not.

Steve - May 2, 2013

I should not be able to dodge sales tax by buying on the net–this simply returns to the rule that everyone pays sales taxes on what they buy.

That wasn’t even the rule before the internet.

James V. Burnette - May 3, 2013

We often think about our tax increases coming for the Federal Government. These “innovative” tax programs will continue until we have a fair “flat” tax that (everybody) pays. We can’t have half the working class not paying taxes and millions more on government entitlement programs. Many of our States are so hard up for money to support their blotted government overhead that they to have to join the Federal Government’s tax games. Its only a matter of time before this whole thing collapses.

Chris Todd - May 13, 2013

I see the argument about additional burdens placed on online sales companies, but those could be eased with a few simple changes offered by the States. As a business owner that does not compete with online sales, I see the unfair advantage online sales companies have over brick/mortar stores when it comes to sales tax, which is almost 10% here. Sales tax is the most fair tax we have, partially proven by the overall attractiveness of our state to individuals and businesses. If you buy, you support the gov’t services you are benefitting from. On a similar note, I call into question Mr. DeMint’s assertion that it is taxation without representation. I am not aware of Mr. DeMint’s previous opposition to taxation of business income, which imposes taxes on entities that cannot vote. However, individuals that vote do have a choice as to purchases of products across state lines.

melvin - May 16, 2013

It is just another liberal money grab.

daniel miller - July 3, 2014

This is an easy one: Americans are already over-taxed! I do not agree with anymore new taxes! Government can no longer be trusted to distribute tax revenue in the most beneficial manner to those most in need because government has become a bureaucratic mess of monumental proportions! We the people are tired!


Katherine McLeister - July 4, 2014

This is terrible! People don’t need another tax. Another example of our freedom being taken away!

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