Ebay has been sending out emails asking sellers to contact congress to oppose an online sales tax. I haven’t contacted anyone, because I support online sales taxes.
Online commerce has caused sales tax revenues to drop, because you usually don’t pay tax on products bought from out-of-state vendors. These taxes fund most of the social welfare that we get, like public education, state parks, Medi-Cal, some roads, and County and City revenues.
As online sales decimate brick-and-mortar retail businesses, sales tax revenue drops. This has to be recovered, some way. One way, at least in California, seems to be raising sales taxes, to pay for things. That only motivates buyers to shop out of state!
While there are problems with an Internet sales tax, I see some benefits.
So, here’s what I see an Internet sales tax doing for me:
- More in-state sales, from California, the biggest market in the country.
- More online sales tax revenues… so maybe we can have fewer of these propositions to raise sales taxes.
- More tax revenues for the smaller states, so they are less reliant on Federal money (aka, California’s federal income tax money).
- Lower postal costs, due to shorter distances. Good for the environment.
Personally, I need to get my sales tax stuff in order, this year, and get right with the state, because my sales, though not substantial, are growing again.
Here’s Ebay’s page on the issue.