Consumers Asked To Avoid Online Shopping

And pay their taxes like good citizens

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The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has launched a campaign asking consumers to shop locally at brick-and-mortar stores instead of shopping online. Their reason: online retailers don’t collect sales taxes and don’t support local jobs and community organizations.

The ad campaign will run through December 22 on major networks like NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox News, and The Weather Channel, and is titled “Give Your Community a Lift…Shop Locally for Your Gifts!” Added to the anti-smoking and anti-piracy ads pervasive on TV and DVDs, you could call it the latest in “shame-vertising.”
Consumers Asked To Avoid Online Shopping
“Many consumers shop online and avoid paying sales tax, and while this may appear to consumers as a way of saving a few dollars, in the end it may cost them more if local tax revenue is eroded and municipalities are forced to cut back on services,” said ICSC CEO Michael P. Kercheval.

In the TV ad, Trenton, NJ mayor Douglas Palmer pleads, “Sales tax revenue is important to local communities, because it’s our life’s blood. We need those kinds of moneys to provide the services, whether it’s police, fire, public works and all the other services that cities have to provide.”

With all the homogenization of chain-store, local-vendor-crushing, consumer-corralling, wage-dwindling going on in most American towns, one could ironically suggest a new tagline for the campaign: Do your part. Shop at Wal-Mart!

At least the city makes up in sales tax what it lost in local worker income tax, right?   

Maybe it’s not the sales tax consumers are avoiding. Maybe it’s the maze of same-old-same-old commerce. Maybe they miss the variety that comes from all that local flavor our towns used to have and cost a little more to have. Can you imagine the Antiques Road Show in a hundred years and all that early 21st Century made-in-China plastic?

Just sayin’. 

Consumers Asked To Avoid Online Shopping
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  • http://yourlastwillandtestament.blogspot.com/ Joe

    It’s a trickier issue than appears on the surface. Online sellers must pay sales taxes in any states where they have “sufficient minimum contacts” to be subject to jurisdiction. I am a Missouri resident. My online sales shipped to Missouri are subject to Missouri sales tax. Let’s say I have a satellite office across the Mississippi River in Illinois. Then my online sales shipped to both Missouri and Illinois are subject to state sales tax. What if you are Nordstom? They make a large volume of sales online and will be subject to state sales taxes in all states where they have employees (20 states?). What about Amazon.com? They are kind of a hybrid because, although strictly doing online sales, they have employees in at least 9 US states (and probably more). I’d bet that Congress will eventually pass a law imposing state sales tax on all online sales regardless of whether you have employees in the state or not. The states are crying loud and hard about this and big online retailers like Amazon have an incentive to level the playing field by causing all online retailers to pay sales tax.

  • http://cactuslover.blogspot.com Suunyshine

    I agree with Joe that it doesn’t make sense to stop on-line shopping. Local shops can’t provide everything you want so on-line shopping becomes the good choice. It’s one of choices for people to find the gift in the best deal.

    The advantage of local shop is to be near your customers. So they buy anything conveniently and quickly. For example, I sometimes need the gift box today. So I have to go to the convenient shop near my home. Why does the local shop use this benefit?

    • http://www.gallagherwebsitedesign.com Business Website Design

      That’s true.

  • http://www.seosean.com Affordable SEO Services

    I disagree with them saying “…don

    • JasonMiller

      That was the intended beauty of the joke. Forgive my dry humor. I was hoping to evoke how some local gov’ts force out local mom and pops to make way for wal-mart…there aren’t so many mom and pops left, ya know?

      Sorry for the confusion

  • http://rdesgr.com/WhatsAllThisThen Anon A. Mus

    I’m rather confident that ISCS didn’t do this for free. Was this campaign funded in part by governments who dipped into those scarce taxpayers funds?

    What happens if this shame-vertising (great phrase, Mr. Miller) is wildly successful? Perhaps those-in-power will continue the Christmas spirit and lower taxes … right about the time hell freezes over.

  • Guest

    So the ISCS Whiners are saying if you don’t shop locally and shop online you’ll be losing services. What a bunch of nonsense! What Services? Local cities charge for everything now days except ‘the AIR you breath’, and that’ll be next. Local businesses have online sites too, or don’t these buttheads at ISCS mention this.

    We’re already being taxed into Obliviion. Anytime you can buy something and not have to pay sales tax, DO IT!!! That only helps the consumer, it keeps more money in our pockes to feed our familes instead of feeding goverment waste and greed!

    The Democrats with the new election are already trying to brain wash us into thinking that ‘Their’ way of increasing taxes and expanding more government is the only way. Only way to do what? Cover the asses because they didn’t handle the U.S. Budget properly and want, once again, for the people to get them out of it.

    I wish everyone would just Shop On Line and keep that Sales tax. Look at New York’s Whining and complaints that Amazon doesn’t pay sales tax. Well, if New York cracked down on their corrupt greed and waste they wouldn’t need to beg for other’s to cover their asses!

    SHOP ON LINE, Keep that Sales Tax, it’s one of the few benefits citizens get anymore.

  • http://www.goreporter.com Sheila

    I’m a Mom and Pop online retailer – shop at my store!

    I think the states have the right to charge sales tax for online purchases – there should just be one fair tax – say 3% – this money will go to one central location and be divided up amongst the states according to their population.

    This is the perfect solution – but I doubt the government will think so. It is the only solution, because it’s too difficult for small stores to keep track of all the different states and their sales tax rates.

    It’s the perfect solution for struggling small towns too – it will invigorate all communities. (In the words of not my choice Obama – “spread the wealth!”)

    If governments were motivated more by what’s fair and right instead of by greed, they would implement this solution. If the government realized that something is better than nothing, they would implement this solution. It’s the only fair and equitable way to do it.

  • Nicole

    What amuses me most about the idiocy of this action is the inference in their concern that seems to say that they believe people actually shop online to avoid sales tax. As if that is there REASON for shopping online.

    People who shop online do it because it’s convenient, in fact, we’re willing to PAY MORE for that convenience by paying shipping and handling. It’s NOT convenient to go to a brick-and-mortar store. If businesses want a level playing field they need to get their stores online so we can shop there.

  • http://www.doggybehave.com/basic.php Sam Nichols

    agree, most people go online dont have the aviod tax in their mind, they actually look for a bargin, believing that offline retail store, charges too much for everything, secondly people buy items online becuase its much easier, just a click of a buttom.

  • BBryan

    Now all the comparisons and recommendations of shopping can be done online at REIZIT.com. It

  • http://www.loveisland.ro marius

    There will be a increase in online sales even during the global melt down, people shop online to make it more easiler for them as it saves time and it delivers to your door

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