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cybnetic

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WE HAVE TO FIGHT THIS!!!!


Net taxes could arrive by this fall

Congress is weighing whether to lift a prohibition on Internet taxes, and one senator warns an e-mail tax could happen by this fall.
By Declan McCullagh
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Published: May 23, 2007, 10:10 PM PDT
        Net taxes could arrive by this fall

The era of tax-free e-mail, Internet shopping and broadband connections could end this fall, if recent proposals in the U.S. Congress prove successful.

State and local governments this week resumed a push to lobby Congress for far-reaching changes on two different fronts: gaining the ability to impose sales taxes on Net shopping, and being able to levy new monthly taxes on DSL and other connections. One senator is even predicting taxes on e-mail.

High Impact

What's new:

State and local governments have resumed a push to lobby Congress to impose sales taxes on Net shopping and to levy new monthly taxes on Internet connections.

Bottom line:

States and municipalities are frequently barred by federal law from collecting both access and sales taxes, but those taxes could yield billions of dollars in new revenue by next year.

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At the moment, states and municipalities are frequently barred by federal law from collecting both access and sales taxes. But they're hoping that their new lobbying effort, coordinated by groups including the National Governors Association, will pay off by permitting them to collect billions of dollars in new revenue by next year.

If that doesn't happen, other taxes may zoom upward instead, warned Sen. Michael Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, at a Senate hearing on Wednesday. "Are we implicitly blessing a situation where states are forced to raise other taxes, such as income or property taxes, to offset the growing loss of sales tax revenue?" Enzi said. "I want to avoid that."

A flurry of proposals that pro-tax advocates advanced this week push in that direction. On Tuesday, Enzi introduced a bill that would usher in mandatory sales tax collection for Internet purchases. Second, during a House of Representatives hearing the same day, politicians weighed whether to let a temporary ban on Net access taxes lapse when it expires on November 1. A House backer of another pro-sales tax bill said this week to expect a final version by July.

"The independent and sovereign authority of states to develop their own revenue systems is a basic tenet of self government and our federal system," said David Quam, director of federal relations at the National Governors Association, during a Senate Commerce committee hearing on Wednesday.

Internet sales taxes
At the moment, for instance, Seattle-based Amazon.com is not required to collect sales taxes on shipments to millions of its customers in states like California, where Amazon has no offices. (Californians are supposed to voluntarily pay the tax owed when filing annual state tax returns, but few do.)

Ideas to alter this situation hardly represent a new debate: officials from the governors' association have been pressing Congress to enact such a law for at least six years. They invoke arguments--unsuccessful so far--like saying that reduced sales tax revenue threatens budgets for schools and police.

But with Democrats now in control of both chambers of Congress, the political dynamic appears to have shifted in favor of the pro-tax advocates and their allies on Capitol Hill. The NetChoice coalition, which counts as members eBay, Yahoo and the Electronic Retailing Association and opposes the sales tax plan, fears that the partisan shift will spell trouble.

One long-standing objection to mandatory sales tax collection, which the Supreme Court in a 1992 case left up to Congress to decide, is the complexity of more than 7,500 different tax agencies that each have their own (and frequently bizarre) rules. Some legal definitions (PDF) tax Milky Way Midnight candy bars as candy and treat the original Milky Way bar as food. Peanut butter Girl Scout cookies are candy, but Thin Mints or Caramel deLites are classified as food.

The pro-tax forces say that a concept called the Streamlined Sales Tax Agreement will straighten out some of the notorious convolutions of state tax laws. Enzi's bill, introduced this week, relies on the agreement when providing "federal authorization" to require out-of-state retailers "to collect and remit the sales and use taxes" due on the purchase. (Small businesses with less than $5 million in out-of-state sales are exempted.)

It's "important to level the playing field for all retailers," Enzi said during Wednesday's hearing.




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waltcesca

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Wouldn't this law tend to push companies OUT of this country EVEN MORE?


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MACJR

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My state already imposed a net tax. Even though my state's tax rate is a bit excessive, I do not mind this as much as I do the thought of an E-MAIL TAX!!!! 

 

I think a lot of politicians may find themselves out of a job if they tax e-mail… especially if they do it on a per use basis. That would get so blasted expensive that there would be mass protest... and I might not be the only one protesting massively! 

 

 

MACJR

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MACJR

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AND, if they tax me for incoming e-mail, even for SPAM, I will join the new revolution and throw this corrupt government out onto their backsides!!!

 

 

MACJR


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waltcesca

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Awww HECK, why wait? Can't we start the revolution NOW???


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cybnetic

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that is a dam good idea walt! I am ready for the revolution anytime anywhere!!
this is from freedomwork.org


No Internet Tax: Why Internet Sales Taxes Aren't Necessary

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Ten years ago, discount retailers like Wal-Mart were redefining the face of the American retail industry. Today, online retailers like Amazon.com are again redefining not only ways that businesses interact with their customers, but also how they interact with each other. Two years ago, Congress passed a three-year moratorium on new Internet taxes to help the fledgling market grow. In the interim, the battle to create an Internet tax plan has begun.

The rapid growth of the Internet and E-commerce has eclipsed that of any previous human invention. Estimates that were once seen as naively optimistic are now often considered too conservative. A recent Forrester Research report estimates that online advertising will reach $33 billion worldwide by 2004, more than double their previous estimate of $15 billion for 2003. In 1998, the same firm also estimated that online business will be worth $1.3 trillion by 2003, representing over 9 percent of U.S. business sales. It is now likely that this figure is too low as well. These phenomenal growth projections have changed the focus of the Internet taxation debate. The discussion has moved from the access fees that collect taxes at the on-ramp to information super-highway to sales and use taxes as tax hungry politicians team up with corporate interests to fill already over-flowing tax coffers and forestall competition to existing retail outlets.

Although the debate has shifted from access fees and other barriers to the information super-highway and many states have been protected from Internet access taxes by the Internet tax Freedom Act, the problem of punitive taxation has not gone away for many Internet users. Because the access fee in Texas was exempted from the congressional action, Texans must still pay taxes just to get on-line if the Internet service they use costs more than $25 a month. Combine this with the fact that Texans pay some of the highest telephone taxes in the country and Web surfers in Texas find it is impossible to connect to the Internet without paying a tax rate that exceeds the rates placed on cigarettes and alcohol.

Still, politicians like Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk argue that the problem is not that taxes are too high, but that there aren’t enough of them. Mayor Kirk and others would have us believe that unless they are allowed to impose new tax regimes on the Internet and specific Internet sales taxes the state’s schools will not be able to educate our children, it’s fire departments will not have enough firemen to put out fires, and the police departments will not have enough policemen to keep our streets safe. All this presents a pretty bleak picture and is enough to make even the most ardent anti-tax advocate reconsider his position, but in reality these are nothing more than scare tactics and propaganda.

Nationwide lost tax revenue will only be about $170 million – not quite one-tenth of 1 percent of state and local government sales and use tax collections. Today, most every state in the nation has a surplus and does not need an extra cent of revenue. In fact, most states are looking for ways to get rid of the sales tax revenues they’ve already collected. According to a recent report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), states had a $5.5 billion surplus for 1999, and “this is the third straight year that most states have faced decisions on how to allocate these excess revenues.” In fact, 21 states have chosen to cut taxes and lower their existing sales tax collections by a total of $1.6 billion. This decision represents a $1.6 billion net loss in sales tax revenues, roughly 1000 percent more than the E-commerce losses the NCPA projected.

The debate should be focused on cutting tax rates for consumers and small businesses, not raising taxes on the Internet at a time when many states have a budget surplus. Many of the politicians pushing hardest for a tax on Internet sales suggest that while they may not need the money just yet, they might need it sometime down the road. If politicians are really concerned about a source of revenue for the future, it makes more sense to give E-commerce the opportunity to grow, rather than drowning it in a sea of regulation and taxation.

State and local politicians have teamed up with large developers and powerful retail giants to raise taxes on American consumers and force small businesses off the Internet. They are using scare tactics and half-truths to promote an agenda that will lead to higher taxes and bigger government.

Those policymakers who would tax our nation’s leading engine of economic growth are shortsighted. The Internet economy accounts for nearly one-third of our nation’s economic growth. It is estimated that if taxes were applied to on-line sales, growth in the technology sector would be slowed by twenty-four percent. The government must be stopped from taxing to death the goose that laid the golden egg.

Policymakers should support a permanent moratorium on discriminatory Internet taxes. That is, they should oppose taxes or tax rates that would apply exclusively to the Internet and not also to bricks and mortar or catalogue sales. Policymakers should also take quick action to repeal Internet access fees and lower existing telephone taxes. Both of these steps will help speed millions more individuals on to the Internet and, in doing so, provide Americans with better educational and job opportunities and a better standard of living.



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Kirock

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Hey! I finally found a topic I can agree on! Do we really need another tax, one on the internet? Come on! Give me a break! Just last year my state started taxing to signal that emits from the satellite to my dish. A tax on an invisible signal passing through the air? Is it time for another Tea Party in Boston?
 
Think about how many times we are taxed? Take my sister, who works in another city. She pays, federal income tax, medicare tax, social security tax, local city tax, city tax in the city where she works, property tax, school tax, sales tax, gas tax, and on and on.
 
Read my lips! ... No new taxes!
waltcesca

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Of course, the most insulting tax? A DEATH tax! One is not allowed to die unless all the taxes are paid OR if not, any and all surviving family members would be responsible for paying that tax!


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Kirock

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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltcesca

Of course, the most insulting tax? A DEATH tax! One is not allowed to die unless all the taxes are paid OR if not, any and all surviving family members would be responsible for paying that tax!


 

Well yea. But she ain't dead yet!

cybnetic

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White Dwarf
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wow kirock agreed!! that never happens.. he is the rogue of rogues....

well anyway, if there is a net tax. then I am done.


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