Every so often, the idea of an Internet sales tax circulates, stirring up controversy and sparking debates about fairness. Now, it’s apparently that time again, as a report’s indicated Senator Dick Durbin intends to introduce a bill sometime this month.
Declan McCullagh wrote earlier today after speaking to a Democratic aide, “The proposal–expected to be made public soon after Tax Day–would rewrite the ground rules for Internet and mail order sales by eliminating the ability of Americans to shop at Web sites like Amazon.com and Overstock.com without paying state sales taxes.”
That’s sure to upset a lot of people who are accustomed to saving money by shopping online, and when it comes to nonessential things like music and movies, an Internet sales tax may decrease sales for a time, given the state of the economy. And/or increase piracy rates, for that matter.
(image)Traditional retailers are no doubt hoping to see more customers visit their brick and mortar stores, however, which could happen if online retailers like Amazon lose a key pricing advantage.
Also, it seems that with or without significant amounts of cost-cutting, most states’ budgets could use an influx of cash these days.
So we’ll see what happens. As noted earlier, this won’t exactly be the first time the idea of an Internet sales tax has been put up for debate, and powerful organizations sit on both sides of the issue. We won’t bombard you with every single soapbox press release, but stay tuned for further significant developments.