On-line purchases and sales tax - unfair?

Started Apr 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
James Van Artsdalen Regular Member • Posts: 319
Amazon requires less ambulence service than WalMart

AztecPhotos wrote:

The fact is, internet sales has made a HUGE dent in local government tax revenues.

On the other hand, on-line shopping is cheaper for cities to support. You need far less road capacity and no MTA, nor the vast parking lots and destruction entailed by a shopping mall. And Amazon is vastly safer than Wal-Mart on Black Friday...

I assume the loss of revenue currently exceeds the reduction in costs but I have never seen a comparison of the two.

The other problem is that there are so many independent sales-tax jurisdictions in the US, somewhere in the tens of thousands. There are hundreds of changes throughout the US every day , and when Cut&Shoot Texas changes their sales tax rate they don't bother to tell Adorama.

What we're seeing is a disruptive sea-change in shopping habits where a new and substantially cheaper & more efficient distribution system is replacing the millennium-old bazaar shopping system. It's going to be a painful experience for bricks & mortar merchants as they learn how to profitably compete with on-line through services, and cities are going to need to rethink their tax-revenue streams to match what the future brings.

PS. It has never been writ in stone that cities must depend on sales taxes. That is a choice that was made, and they can just as easily use other tax revenues instead.

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