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Federal Court Tosses Colorado's Amazon Tax

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the respect-my-federal-commerce-clause dept.

Government 229

suraj.sun writes, quoting the Denver Post: "A federal court has thrown out a 2010 Colorado law, which had already been temporarily blocked in federal court last year, meant to spur online retailers like Amazon to collect state sales tax. 'I conclude that the veil provided by the words of the act and the regulations is too thin to support the conclusion that the act and the regulations regulate in-state and out-of-state retailers even-handedly,' U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn wrote in his opinion. The law and the rules to carry it out 'impose an undue burden on interstate commerce' and are unconstitutional, the judge wrote. The tax mainly affected online sales of out-of-state companies that have in-state affiliates, usually generating sales through links on their websites." I wonder what this means for the plethora of similar bills in other states. Will Amazon continue to call for a national Internet sales tax if they are all struck down?

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Fuck me! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570723)

Stick your wiener in my stink hole!

It's pretty black and white (5, Informative)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570735)

These laws are unconstitutional. The states are free to try to amend the constitution, but as it stands today, their inability to tax purchases like this is one of the most non-vague areas of our constitution.

Re:It's pretty black and white (5, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570885)

Just run it by SCOTUS. They changed the 4th amendment yesterday. Why not another one?

Re:It's pretty black and white (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571387)

Not sure if troll? It prohibits "unreasonable" searches and seizures. They were asked, if you're going into gen-pop, is it unreasonable for you to be strip searched? They said no, its not, and here are several reasons. They didn't require all jails to strip search all inmates, they only said it was reasonable in that context, and Alito and Roberts, those evil hate mongering right wingers, added in some wiggle room saying there should be some exceptions.

This kind of judicial ignorance is why lawyers laugh at you. Yes, specifically, you.

Re:It's pretty black and white (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571481)

The Supreme Court is engaging in egregious question begging here. They argue that every inmate going into general population requires a strip search, but they ignored whether it was apprpriate for this fellow to go into general population at all.

If every inmane in jail requires a strip search, and strip searches for minor crimes are unreasonable, then it's unreasonable to send people accused of minor crimes to jail at all.

Re:It's pretty black and white (5, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571613)

They argue that every inmate going into general population requires a strip search, but they ignored whether it was apprpriate for this fellow to go into general population at all.

The Supreme Court rules on specific points of law, not on how they fell the overall case should have gone. Despite how it's portrayed in some news articles, they are not a catch-all "I really think I should have one this case" appeals court.

If you have a suit that claims your rights were violated because you were strip-searched upon admission to jail and you end up appealing that suit, the Supreme Court is going to rule on whether the strip search is Constitutional. If you wanted to make the claim that you were falsely arrested or unjustly imprisoned, you should have made your suit about that.

Re:It's pretty black and white (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571709)

The strip search is unreasonable. There is absolutely nothing that could possibly justify the sexual abuse of someone who is falsely accused of paying a fine.

See, the SC didn't even address that. They only addressed whether it was reasonable to strip search someone going to jail. That was never the question at all.

Re:It's pretty black and white (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571833)

And that's why we, as non-lawyers, laugh at the SCOTUS.

Re:It's pretty black and white (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571935)

If you wanted to make the claim that you were falsely arrested or unjustly imprisoned, you should have made your suit about that.

And yet, based on the argument of whether or not mandating the purchase of insurance is constitutional, the supreme court is considering throwing out the entire law.

It's a bullshit excuse made whenever the SCOTUS wants to avoid making any hard decisions. Sort of like how the SCOTUS will never have to rule on the constitutionality of SS or Medicare or any other entitlement program because they'll claim you haven't been hurt by them personally.

Re:It's pretty black and white (4, Informative)

bkaul01 (619795) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571823)

You might try reading the opinion [supremecourt.gov] ; virtually everything you said is factually incorrect.

The fellow had priors for obstruction of justice and use of a deadly weapon after having run from the cops in the past (he plead guilty to lesser charges), and was arrested on a bench warrant that (due to a clerical error) was still in existence for later unpaid tickets (which had since been paid). Neither side contested the question of whether he should've gone into the general population given his arrest (there was no other option, since he was arrested on a warrant, not merely detained for a traffic violation).

They don't argue that every inmate going into general population requires a strip search. The Court did say that deference to the judgment of jail administrators is needed in cases where they're not clearly in the wrong, and they said that a jail choosing to conduct such searches (for contraband, injury, delousing, detection of gang tattoos, and similar purposes) is not unreasonable for prisoners being put into the general population. Quite the opposite of suggesting that such a search be mandated, they did suggest that there are situations where it would not be appropriate, though in general it is up to the discretion of the officers involved.

See, for instance, Part IV:

This case does not require the Court to rule on the types of searches that would be reasonable in instances where, for example, a detainee will be held without assignment to the general jail population and without substantial contact with other detainees. This describes the circumstances in Atwater. See 532 U. S., at 324 (“Officers took Atwater’s ‘mug shot’ and placed her, alone, in a jail cell for about one hour, after which she was taken before a magistrate and released on $310 bond”). The accommodations provided in these situations may diminish the need to conduct some aspects of the searches at issue. Cf. United States Brief 30 (discussing the segregation, and less invasive searches, of individuals held by the Federal Bureau of Prisons for misdemeanors or civil contempt). The circumstances before the Court, however, do not present the opportunity to consider a narrow exception of the sort JUSTICE ALITO describes, post, at 2–3 (concurring opinion), which might restrict whether an arrestee whose detention has not yet been reviewed by a magistrate or other judicial officer,and who can be held in available facilities removed from the general population, may be subjected to the types of searches at issue here.

Petitioner’s amici raise concerns about instances of officers engaging in intentional humiliation and other abusive practices. See Brief for Sister Bernie Galvin et al. as Amici Curiae; see also Hudson, 468 U. S., at 528 (“[I]ntentional harassment of even the most hardened criminals cannot be tolerated by a civilized society”); Bell, 441 U. S., at 560. There also may be legitimate concerns about the invasiveness of searches that involve the touching of detainees. These issues are not implicated on the facts of this case, however, and it is unnecessary to consider them here.

And in Alito's concurring opinion:

It is important to note, however, that the Court does not hold that it is always reasonable to conduct a full strip search of an arrestee whose detention has not been reviewed by a judicial officer and who could be held in available facilities apart from the general population. Most of those arrested for minor offenses are not dangerous, and most are released from custody prior to or at the time of their initial appearance before a magistrate. In some cases, the charges are dropped. In others, arrestees are released either on their own recognizance or on minimal bail. In the end, few are sentenced to incarceration. For these persons, admission to the general jail population, with the concomitant humiliation of a strip search, may not be reasonable, particularly if an alternative procedure is feasible.

Re:It's pretty black and white (4, Interesting)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571999)

Strip searches for PRISONERS is ok. You've lost rights.

Strip searches for ARRESTEES is not ok. You're not guilty of anything.

You're conflating the two.

The SCOTUS didn't. They say it's ok for any arrestee to be strip searched, giving the jail administrators leeway for not having to do so. As if they'll not take it.

Re:It's pretty black and white (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571743)

Eric Holder is that you?

Re:It's pretty black and white (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571889)

That kind of narrow focus, where cops will apply to all cases, is why all of us non-lawyers laugh at the larger ignorance of the SCOTUS.

While they strip away our freedoms (and our clothes).

Sorry, but it's unreasonable to get a strip search for an unpaid fine. All the moreso one that was already paid. But SCOTUS disagrees.

Re:It's pretty black and white (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571525)

I could also make the argument about taxation-without-representation. Who is Colorado to force me to collect sales taxes on my ebay auctions? I live ~1500 miles away & have nobody to represent me in their foreign legislature! That would be like Canada or the UK demanding I collect-and-remit sales tax. Forget that.

Besides the Member States of this union DO have the power to tax out-of-state purchases. It's called a "use tax" and in most cases is the same rate as the in-state sales tax. The problem is the unwillingness of state citizens to cooperate (they refuse to pay).

It is not proper to place the burden on retailers (not just amazon, but also ebay sellers). If the States want the use tax, then they need to start going after their own residents, and punishing those who falsely-claim "0.00 use tax" on their returns.

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Wow (5, Insightful)

SaroDarksbane (1784314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570759)

Finally, a ruling that deals with the commerce clause as it was actually intended to be used, rather than the current "the federal government can do anything it wants at any time simply by saying the word 'commerce'" interpretation.

Re:Wow (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570915)

saying the word 'commerce'" interpretation.

I think you mean "national security" or "terrorist"

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571097)

Or child porn [slashdot.org] ...

Re:Wow (5, Informative)

rilian4 (591569) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571479)

Not exactly. This was a state law that was struck down...Not a federal one. It sounds (I haven't read the ruling) like it was a proper ruling but it does nothing to curb the federal government...only state governments.

That said, I agree that the federal government has gotten away w/ far too much for far too long by claiming all kinds of powers under the commerce clause. No doubt about it.

What's really going on (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570799)

Amazon to states: "There should be no Internet sales taxes created on the state level, because this deals with interstate commerce."
Amazon to federal government: "The federal government shouldn't handle sales taxes, they should be handled on a state level. Plus, you wouldn't want to have to answer to the voters regarding a *tax increase*, would you?"

End result: No sales taxes on Amazon, which is almost definitely the outcome they want.

Sure, but (2)

oGMo (379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570913)

This benefits customers, because they get items cheaper. Amazon has no presence in the state, so why should they have to pay sales tax? Gas tax already covers any usage of the roads etc by shipping and delivery companies. And it's not a big hit for local businesses because for the extra $0.50 a customer gets to have the product now.

In short, the only ones who "lose" are Colorado politicians. And if there was a federal sales tax, Colorado wouldn't get a cut, anyway.

Re:Sure, but (5, Informative)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571063)

Amazon has no presence in the state, so why should they have to pay sales tax? G.

The thing you, and many other people, don't realize is that no retailer, ANYWHERE, pays sales taxes on purchases you make....ever.....never ever.....never, never ever. The retailers merely COLLECT the tax from YOU on behalf of the the government. YOU are the one paying the taxes. And, no, this is not some weird "retailers pass the cost on" kind of thing. Sales taxes are paid by the consumer. That's why states have things called Use Tax, which is to cover things like mail-order and online. You are supposed to claim those purchases on your income tax forms at the state level, and then pay the appropriate tax. No one does it though, and that's why states are trying to find ways to get their lost revenue.

Re:Sure, but (4, Informative)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571609)

Amazon has no presence in the state, so why should they have to pay sales tax? G.

The thing you, and many other people, don't realize is that no retailer, ANYWHERE, pays sales taxes on purchases you make....ever.....never ever.....never, never ever. The retailers merely COLLECT the tax from YOU on behalf of the the government. YOU are the one paying the taxes. And, no, this is not some weird "retailers pass the cost on" kind of thing. Sales taxes are paid by the consumer. That's why states have things called Use Tax, which is to cover things like mail-order and online. You are supposed to claim those purchases on your income tax forms at the state level, and then pay the appropriate tax. No one does it though, and that's why states are trying to find ways to get their lost revenue.

Not entirely true. You are correct that this is the way it is supposed to work, but in practice many small businesses find it less costly to pay the taxes than to collect them. I run one, and we do.

For our online sales, we do not collect taxes -they are too damn complicated, and the software packages available to calculate them are prone to errors that really piss customers off. It is simpler for our accountants to calculate the tax after the fact, on all sales that are applicable, and cut a check for the amount due. For our direct sales website, we do collect taxes, but for sales through affiliates, and channels (ebay, amazon, etc) we do not. The cost of getting it to work correctly is higher than the cost of paying the taxes ourselves, and it keeps our customers happier.

To put this post back on topic... I have received demand letters from the state of Colorado under this law - and after a quick reading, declined to pay them as it was obviously an extra-jurisdictional attempt to squeeze money out of us.

Re:Sure, but (2)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571773)

I'm sorry, but you still aren't paying the tax. You increased the price of the product to include the tax, and then make it transparent to the consumer. You are remitting the tax on behalf of the consumer in the same way as if you were to tack it on to the end.

Re:Sure, but (4, Interesting)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571987)

I'm sorry, but you still aren't paying the tax. You increased the price of the product to include the tax, and then make it transparent to the consumer. You are remitting the tax on behalf of the consumer in the same way as if you were to tack it on to the end.

WRONG.

Our prices are set by price matching other sellers in the various markets we sell in. There is no increase in price to hide the tax. Any additions would make our products non-competitive.

Of course it is possible that we are price matching competitors who have built in a buffer to cover their tax liabilities, but its not relevant either from our standpoint or from our customers.

Re:Sure, but (5, Informative)

gv250 (897841) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571835)

no retailer, ANYWHERE, pays sales taxes on purchases you make

That may be true somewhere, but it isn't true in Illinois. Quoting the Illinois Department of Revenue [state.il.us] : "Sales tax is a combination of “occupation” taxes that are imposed on sellers’ receipts and “use” taxes that are imposed on amounts paid by purchasers. Sellers owe the occupation tax to the department; they reimburse themselves for this liability by collecting use tax from the buyers."

And, 35 ILCS 120/2 [ilga.gov] "A tax is imposed upon persons engaged in the business of selling at retail tangible personal property ...".

In Illinois, at least, sales tax is quite clearly imposed upon the retailer, and not the retail purchaser. On a related note, when I was running a small business in Illinois I contacted the DOR and asked if I was obliged to collect sales tax from my customers. They advised me that I was under no obligation to collect sales tax, my only obligation was to pay it.

Re:Sure, but (4, Informative)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571099)

This benefits customers, because they get items cheaper. Amazon has no presence in the state, so why should they have to pay sales tax? Gas tax already covers any usage of the roads etc by shipping and delivery companies. And it's not a big hit for local businesses because for the extra $0.50 a customer gets to have the product now.

In short, the only ones who "lose" are Colorado politicians. And if there was a federal sales tax, Colorado wouldn't get a cut, anyway.

Amazon would not be paying state sales taxes. They would be collecting state sales taxes, like any other company doing business located in the state and remitting those taxes to the state on behalf of the purchaser. It is the purchaser, who benefits from the state sales tax as it is used to fund state services.

Where Colorado messed up is that they tried to levy sales tax on out of state purchases from a company that did not have a presence int he state. This has long ago been decided. What Colorado should have done is passed a bill that out of state companies, doing more than $X business in the state, must collect use tax on behalf of the state. Since use taxes are already deemed constitutional, having the vendor collecting them should not be a problem.

Re:Sure, but (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571181)

Where Colorado messed up is that they tried to levy sales tax on out of state purchases from a company that did not have a presence int he state. This has long ago been decided. What Colorado should have done is passed a bill that out of state companies, doing more than $X business in the state, must collect use tax on behalf of the state. Since use taxes are already deemed constitutional, having the vendor collecting them should not be a problem.

Requiring a business (or individual) not resident in your State to abide by your State laws while they are outside your State is usually considered to be a bad thing.

Or do you really think you should be obligated to obey the laws of all 50 States, even those you've never even visited?

Re:Sure, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571247)

Actually given that slashdot article about the feds nailing some colorado company for 'interstate commerce' because they bought tools from outside the state to use for medical treatment or supplies or whatever inside the state, having amazon collect the use tax because 'omg interstate commerce!' sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Honestly if they get told 'well you're a state and that's outside your jurisdiction' then just get a bunch of governors together and draft a federal bill requiring state use tax to be collected by any corporation conducting interstate commerce, and problem solved, it's now federal and the 'omg interstate commerce' clause applies.

Pardon if that's not very 'professionally written', but I hope the concept makes it through okay.

Re:Sure, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571299)

You are either playing the naive card or don't understand what taxes are for.

Education? paid with taxes. Roads? taxes. Defense? taxes.

Letting Amazon not to pay any taxes is a burden to the rest of tax-paying businesses and citizens. You may benefit in the short run as a customer but in the long run everybody lose except Amazon.

Re:Sure, but (1)

Maxwell'sSilverLART (596756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571521)

Education is paid for by the residents of the state, typically by income or property taxes. Defense is paid for by Federal taxes. Roads are funded at least in part by fuel taxes, which would apply to the delivery trucks carrying the stuff you purchase from Amazon.

Any more ill-considered arguments?

Re:What's really going on (5, Informative)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570953)

Sure, if you want to just make shit up and blindly ignore the facts. Amazon has consistently lobbied for a federal internet sales tax.

Re:What's really going on (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571031)

That's the only workable system, given the way local sales taxes are completely fucked up. I'm a programmer and I have wake-up-screaming nightmares about Bezos ordering me to write a system that calculates the correct local sales tax for any order on Amazon.

Re:What's really going on (1)

Enry (630) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571107)

MA (and other states probably do this as well) has a safe-harbor amount in the tax return based off your AGI to cover out-of-state purchases. Any major purchases over $1000 has to be listed separately and pay the full sales tax on, but the safe-harbor covers purchases I made in other states or via Amazon.

Re:What's really going on (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571129)

Sure, if you want to just make shit up and blindly ignore the facts. Amazon has consistently lobbied for a federal internet sales tax.

That is true, but only because they don't the burden of maintaining a sales tax for every state and municipality. They see the handwriting on the wall that eventually internet sales will be taxed. Having one taxing authority is much better than tens of thousands.

Re:What's really going on (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571225)

THIS. Determining the tax classification for every product for over 10,000 tax jurisdictions, with vague and conflicting guidance on the rates to be applied from each one, is an extremely difficult task and imposes an undue burden for internet retailers. If the states want to get a cut of the action, they need to drastically reduce and streamline their sales tax code.

Re:What's really going on (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571639)

If the states want to get a cut of the action, they need to drastically reduce and streamline their sales tax code.
The states already are entitled to a cut of the action. What they are trying to do is get somebody else to do their collecting for them. Somebody who the state has no authority over. The states just need to get their act together and collect the tax themselves. In fact, they shouldn't be allowed to force in-state retailers to collect the sales tax for them. In my state, no only do retailers have to collect this money and give it to the state, they have to PAY the state for the privilege of doing the state's job for them.

There may be a federal deal in the works. (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570971)

I had read last year that Amazon is working out a deal with legislators for a federal sales tax for internet sales.

You knew the feds were not going to be cut out forever, and that online sales would have to be taxed someday...

The states will of course get a cut of the tax, better than nothing.

I wonder if the brick and mortar rule will still apply. If there's a simpler way to pay taxes for online purchases and any business is allowed to apply it, imagine all the lost sales tax from companies like Apple that pay local sales taxes today...

Of course, there's a more recent rumor that Amazon will be opening real stores soon [channeldollars.com] and thus subject to local sales tax after all.

Re:There may be a federal deal in the works. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571683)

You knew the feds were not going to be cut out forever, and that online sales would have to be taxed someday...

The states will of course get a cut of the tax, better than nothing.

Well, I don't see how that will work. Some states have no sales tax. So now, do you have to file for a refund of these taxes that you don't owe and now have to wait around up to 18 months from the time of purchase to get your money back?

Re:What's really going on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571197)

Maybe someone can answer this.. historically has there been sales tax on mail-order purchases? I'm thinking specifically about the old Sears catalog and the like.

Re:What's really going on (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571733)

Maybe someone can answer this.. historically has there been sales tax on mail-order purchases? I'm thinking specifically about the old Sears catalog and the like.
Yes, but it was not collected by Sears. You had to put down the purchases in the "Use Tax" area on your stat tax return. And the same is still true and holds for internet purchases as well.

Re:What's really going on (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571789)

No, "use taxes" happened after Internet purchases became widespread; the first one was created in the 1990s. Historically, pre-Internet, buying something mail-order from Sears-Roebuck or whatever was untaxed, and nobody really cared because such purchases were a negligible percentage of retail commerce, so it wasn't worth bothering with. Now, in some states more than 10% of all purchases are from online retailers so this is starting to become significant, particularly in states that don't collect income tax and rely entirely from sales taxes for revenue.

What's Also Going On (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571273)

States don't feel like auditing their citizens. There is already a method of collection. At least in my state, there is a line on the state tax form to pay use taxes. Barely anyone pays it and it would be extremely hard to audit. Plus, you have to do it for each individual.

But if I were Amazon, I would tell the different states that their problems with collecting from individuals is not my problem.

Re:What's Also Going On (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571677)

+1 for your last sentence.
States already have a Use tax to apply against out-of-state purchases. But citizens refuse to pay. The states should be enforcing that non-compliance using their own police force, not trying to make foreign non-resident businesses (like me, ebay, amazon) be the police.

See a pattern here? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570803)

The Dodd-Frank bill contained a provision regulating the interchange fees charged by Mastercard, Visa, and other credit card networks. That was very popular with retailers, who saw it as the equivalent of rolling back the local sales tax by a percent or so. Who was against it? The Republicans. No, they didn't say "that is the only worthwhile provision in an otherwise bad bill", they said the entire bill was bad. And they've vowed to repeal it if and when they control the WH and Congress after November's election.

Despite their professed love for the small businessmen on Main Street and Pine Street, they're the first ones the Republican Party will throw under the bus in order to help the national and global corporations like Amazon and the big banks.

Re:See a pattern here? (2, Insightful)

Fwipp (1473271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570891)

I was going to ask "Doesn't Amazon pay interchange fees, too?"

But then I realized that of course Amazon has the power to negotiate the fees that they pay, while my local coffee shop almost certainly cannot. So, consider this a "+1 Insightful," instead of a "-1 What?"

Re:See a pattern here? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571271)

I was going to ask "Doesn't Amazon pay interchange fees, too?"

But then I realized that of course Amazon has the power to negotiate the fees that they pay, while my local coffee shop almost certainly cannot. So, consider this a "+1 Insightful," instead of a "-1 What?"

While it is true that Amazon must pay interchange fees, it is almost a certainty that it is figured into their pricing structure (since you cannot pay with cash). Besides, most business find that paying CC fees is less costly than processing bad checks.

Re:See a pattern here? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571877)

Some stores/gas stations give a 5 or 10 cent discount if you pay with cash (instead of credit). I wish more stores would do that.
http://financialservices.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=252291 [house.gov]

âOverall budget cost of Dodd-Frank through FY 2012: $1,251,578,000
âNumber of government positions created (projected for 2012): 2,849
âAnnual labor hours required to comply with just the 10% of Dodd-Frank rules that have been issued so far: 2,260,631
âNumber of Americans who will have to work all year, every year solely on complying with all of Dodd-Frankâ(TM)s rules: Over 10,000

âThe largest financial institutions in America remain "too big to fail"; in fact, they are even bigger now than they were before Dodd-Frankâ(TM)s passage. In its section of the report on too big to fail, Republicans note that even Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner acknowledged the Dodd-Frank Act does not end too big to fail.

âBy institutionalizing a government policy of too big to fail, Dodd-Frank further skews the competitive landscape in favor of large, complex financial institutions at the expense of smaller institutions and community banks.

âThe Dodd-Frank Act failed to address the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which helped spark the financial crisis in 2008, and hobbles the private mortgage market through onerous regulations. This will ensure "that housing will remain in limbo for some time to come, as investors, securitizers, and lenders try to navigate its cumbersome and unworkable rules."

Do you work for Goldman-Sachs? (4, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571037)

The Republicans want to repeal the bill because it IS bad [house.gov] . It may have one part that is good in there but mostly it just benefits really big banks or companies, and imposes WAY too many regulations on businesses (that again benefit larger companies because they have staff that can handle stupid overhead like that).

I mean, if you are all for benefitting large companies that is fine, but most people would like to see government support for them reduced and Dodd/Frank are KINGS of supporting large companies through government graft.

Re:Do you work for Goldman-Sachs? (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571951)

No, it is not bad. They do however continue to us it in their lie that the economy isn't getting better.
So it benefits and hurts business.?

Do you even think, at all, when reading what your echo chambers feeds into your bias? no, of course not.

At least you read the bill, looked at the data and confirmed what they said? no? of course not.

You are a loud mouth and should keep the in mind next time you think every gut feeling you get is correct.

Fucking moron.

And yes, I have read it and looked a the data. I find it more effective when I communicate with my representative.

You're post reminds me of a quote:
“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”
  Isaac Asimov

Re:See a pattern here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571041)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204319004577084613307585768.html

Yes, just ignore the bad effects of this provision. It's a good provision. Nothing bad has happened because of it.

Liberals love these 'sound good' provisions, but they only hold up if you don't take more than two seconds to think about who will be harmed by the unintended side effects.

Re:See a pattern here? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571791)

>>>Who was against it? The Republicans.

Note: Both parties suck ass.
I plan to vote for neither Obama or Romney.
That said if you're going to play this tit-for-that game, it was the Democrats that repealed Glass-Steagall, a Democrat HUD secretary (under clinton) who changed the rules so literally anybody could buy a house even if they couldn't afford it (the source of the bubble/crash), and the Democrats who rammed-through the TARP banker bailouts even as most Republicans opposed it. (It failed to pass the first time, but passed the second.) And the Democrats who gave us this shitty insurance mandate to force me to buy a product I don't want (not one republican voted for it and it was opposed by 65% of Americans).

Oh and let's not forget: Both of the sucky Democrats/Republicans were responsible for passing NDAA's provision to take-away our right to a trial (~95% voted aye). You can now be jailed indefinitely merely be being charged as a "terrorist". Carry a gun? Have a pocket constitution? Donated money to Ron Paul? Question if global warming is real? Pay your bills with cash?

You're now a "terrorist" according to the MIAC report.

:-D (3, Insightful)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570841)

Good for the court. Good for Amazon. I pay 10% on anything I buy in Arkansas (including food) and they scream that it's not enough. Funny, I paid 3% sales tax here in the 70's and the roads weren't any worse than they are today. Screw any state that attempts to cash in on internet sales.

Re::-D (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571301)

Good for the court. Good for Amazon. I pay 10% on anything I buy in Arkansas (including food) and they scream that it's not enough. Funny, I paid 3% sales tax here in the 70's and the roads weren't any worse than they are today. Screw any state that attempts to cash in on internet sales.

Like gasoline, the price of asphalt has gone up since the 70s, too. Maybe if 30% of all Arkansas sales were not internet sales, then there would be higher employment, more tax revenues and better roads in Arkansas. Just a thought.

Re::-D (1)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571425)

Not a very good one, though. Gasoline and asphalt aren't the only things that have gone up. I had a choice Monday of buying a 50 dollar power supply from Best Buy, adding 10%, and getting my main PC going that night, or buying the same one from Tigerdirect for 25 bucks and paying an additional five bucks to ship it here by Thursday. I'll have my computer back tomorrow night. Oh, and thanks for reminding me, President Clinton alone id responsible for ten cents of additional gas tax while he was screwing women the state troopers were bringing to the governor's mansion for him. Remove that obscene 10% surcharge, I'll buy more in state.

Re::-D (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571483)

Like gasoline, the price of asphalt has gone up since the 70s, too.

You seem to have a lack of understanding about percentages. That's ok, the government likes people who don't understand percentages. That way, they can claim that they need to raise the tax rate to make more money, when in fact, mathematics says that if 3% tax on 1970's income was enough to get by, then 3% tax on 2012 income (about 5.4 times as high) should also be plenty.

Re::-D (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571657)

I cheer when I see an "END ROAD WORK" sign. But then, I own a 4x4.

Some roads need paving. Other roads could equally well be dirt and gravel if they only had local traffic on them. Let's get more public transportation (trains or PRT) and stop maintaining all these stupid roads.

Re::-D (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571943)

Even if asphalt is more costly, it doesn't vary from state-to-state. We only pay 5% in my state (which is in the north where roads suffer ice/salt destruction). Why should Arkansas residents have to pay twice as much tax? The road maintenance should actually be cheaper than my state.

Re::-D (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571851)

because road costs don't go up~

You ignorance its amazing. Must be the well known Arkansas educational system.
You know nothing about road work, but yet use it as some sort of example.

Clue: the costs to do the materials and equipment have out paced personal income levels, hence they need more money for the same mile of work, even after adjusted for inflation.

Did it occurred to you the 10% may not be enough because amazon is taking millions and millions of dollars of tax revenue away from your state?

State you purchased it from... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570883)

Logically, any sales tax levied should be the state you purchased the item from, not where you live. If I drive to a neighboring state and buy something, I pay that state's sales tax, not my home state's sales tax. By extension if I buy something online, the state where the "store" is located should be the one collecting sales tax. When ordering online from a store with multiple locations in different states, it should probably be the state where of the warehouse it ships from since that's essentially the last point at which it was in the seller's possession. Some might argue that the tax should be collected in the state in which the sale occurred but a single online sale can occur in 2 states simultaneously. Ordering online can be likened to having an designated agent go to another state to purchase something for you and bring it back to you.

Re:State you purchased it from... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571073)

Why is this so hard for Americans? Companies are already handling this in the 27 state EU.

Re:State you purchased it from... (2)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571485)

Because the EU is a newer entity with laws and charter that are more up to date for modern considerations. The US Constitution is 200+ years old and the interstate commerce clause was mostly created to make sure that states couldn't go off and declare trade wars on other states in the trade of things like molasses, tobacco and slaves that came in on sailing ships or in wagons.

EU regulations will be just as out of date when the Singularity hits and our posthuman overlords are busy using the subether to trade computing power, stars and human souls.
         

Re:State you purchased it from... (2)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571079)

It is an interesting concept, but truthfully, you are benefiting by the services in your state. The sales tax you pay goes to cover those services. So, it really should be paid against the locality in which you reside. You would really hate to have your sales tax go to the state where you made the purchase, as opposed to where you reside. Otherwise, all your money would go to California, New York, etc. Your state would suffer greatly, and the quality of the services you receive would drop dramatically. It would make sales tax calculation much simpler for Amazon to charge based on their locality, but then they would move their operations to states that don't collect sales taxes.

Re:State you purchased it from... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571083)

Well, according to current law, if you purchase on item in a different state for use in your home state, you are required to pay the difference between the amount of sales tax in that state and that of your home state. For example, if you purchased an item in a neighboring state that charges 5% sales tax and took it home to use and your home state's sales tax is 6%, you are supposed to register to pay that full 6% and take the 5% you paid as a credit, thus ending up paying 1% to your home state.
The fact that few people actually do this, does not in any way obligate a company that does not have an actual presence in your state to collect sales tax. Personally, I think that sales tax as currently written is a bad law since it has many hidden costs that are paid by the businesses it makes into unpaid tax collectors for the state.

Re:State you purchased it from... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571147)

Out of state purchases are taxed by your home state already, see Use Tax. [wikipedia.org]

Please, this is easy to implement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571175)

Some might argue that the tax should be collected in the state in which the sale occurred but a single online sale can occur in 2 states simultaneously.

What?

When you order online, I have yet to see an online retailer that allows you to ship two different addresses and there's only one address for billing. So, just collect sales tax based upon the billing address if there's some question as to which state to charge sales tax.

Anyway, big stores like Home Depot and Microcenter have no problem with this - they solved this problem years ago.

Re:Please, this is easy to implement. (1)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571221)

Anyway, big stores like Home Depot and Microcenter have no problem with this - they solved this problem years ago.

Not quite. They probably determine the closest store to your billing address, and calculate your tax based on that store (with some caveats of course). Home Depot only has 2200 stores. There are probably over ten times that many combinations of taxing districts. It's very easy to determine the sales tax to charge for a single location. It's quiet a more complex thing to calculate the sales tax for all locations.

Not really complex. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571719)

" They probably determine t"

So, you don't really know.

As for collecting. You set up a method where every year, a county official post there tax, Amazon grabs that information and updates it automatically.

Complexity argument is a Red Herring.

Re:State you purchased it from... (1)

TheGatesofBill (637809) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571211)

But technically you need to pay use tax on those items already. Nobody does.

Not all state levy sales tax (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571269)

Logically, any sales tax levied should be the state you purchased the item from, not where you live.

If that happens, then all online sellers will move to Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire or Oregon.

Re:State you purchased it from... (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571297)

Ordering online can be likened to having an designated agent go to another state to purchase something for you and bring it back to you.

Ordering online is exactly like mail order purchasing, and that's been around for a very long time. "On the internet!!!" doesn't automatically make it different from what before (except perhaps in scale).

Re:State you purchased it from... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571581)

By extension if I buy something online, the state where the "store" is located should be the one collecting sales tax.

But where is the "store" located? Is it located where the particular server that your transaction occurred upon is located? Is it based upon where the company's headquarters are located? Is it in your living room? The current state law determines that it is located at your primary residence at the time of the sale.

Re:State you purchased it from... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571739)

" I pay that state's sales tax, not my home state's sales tax."
then you are breaking the law and cheating yourself.

A) You are suppose to pay the tax in your state at the end of the year.

B) You are entitled to a refund of the taxes you paid in the other state.

If it will stifle competition, they will (1)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570905)

Will Amazon continue to call for a national Internet sales tax ...

If Amazon thinks that any tax, national or state will hurt its competitors and especially new entrants more than it hurts Amazon, they will call for it.

Best Buy (1)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570933)

We all hate paying sales tax. But giving Amazon a pass on tax while brick-and-mortar stores must charge tax is a significant contributor to the demise of retailers such as Best Buy.

Re:Best Buy (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570973)

If you think having to collect tax is a significant reason to the demise of Best Buy, clearly you haven't shopped at one in a long time.

Re:Best Buy (1)

wheeda (520016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571903)

If I had mod points, I would be tempted to mod up this off topic comment.

Re:Best Buy (4, Interesting)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571127)

For the billionth time, it isn't "giving Amazon a pass" it's recognition of the fact that the reality is you can't tax purchases that occur over the internet or the telephone. The first problem is whose tax rules should apply... the source? Nice and easy, but that results in double taxation as the destination jurisdiction demands a "use tax" payment - and if the destination is a different country, an entire treaty is needed just to prevent it being taxed twice. The destination rules might work, but what about where the tax should be collected? You could collect it at the source, but then you have the problem of retailers outside of your jurisdiction - you can't apply laws to them (DealExtreme for example would be unlikely to charge and remit the tax. Besides, Europe already tried this and got told to get bent by the USA, so it'd be pretty hypocritical to try it). Collect at the destination instead? Could work - but you either have to do it on the honour system, rely on retailers to hand your local authority their entire sales receipts so they can comb through looking for transactions that need tax collected (not going to happen) or apply it at the border - which doesn't really work in places like the USA where goods don't pass through customs agents getting from A to B.

Re:Best Buy (1)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571173)

And?

No, really. Of what concern of mine is the health of Best Buy?

The only benefit of Best Buy is that it gives an easy way for the states to collect sales taxes from you. So without Best Buy, the tax revenue drops as more people shop online. But, tax revenue shouldn't decline if people were all fine upstanding citizens that paid their Use Tax. But of course, no one does.

I think we should eliminate sales taxes entirely and raise the income taxes.

Re:Best Buy (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571793)

But giving Amazon a pass on tax while brick-and-mortar stores must charge tax is a significant contributor to the demise of retailers such as Best Buy.
They are not giving Amazon a pass. The tax is still due, but Amazon doesn't have to collect it. You have to pay it. They can't make Amazon collect it because Amazon is not under their jurisdiction.
Further, I think that the state should not be allowed to force retailers to collect the tax either. The retailers don't get to keep that money. They have to forward it to the state. There are record-keeping costs, storage costs of transaction information, and other administrative costs to this process, all borne by the retailer, who then has to charge you more for their product, or just shut down if they can't charge more. If the state wants the money, they need to collect it themselves. Now if some business wants to make a deal with the state and say "I will collect your sales tax for you , if you pay me $100,000 a year to do it", then that would be fine with me. Unfortunately, the reality is that state's force retailers to collect the sales tax, and if they won't, then they don't get a business license. In my state, the state makes retailers pay a fee for the privilege of collecting the state's sales tax for them, bearing all the costs of collection and record keeping, and forwarding every penny on to the state.

Well, hell! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570941)

(Fires up GPS app)

Where did they toss it?

Gid Rid of All Sales Taxes (5, Insightful)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 2 years ago | (#39570989)

Here's an idea to clear up this mess nicely: get rid of all sales taxes. They're extremely regressive [wikipedia.org] and complicate and impede commerce. Increase income, property, and capital gains taxes to compensate.

Re:Gid Rid of All Sales Taxes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571051)

Income and capital gains taxes don't complicate and impede commerce?

Re:Gid Rid of All Sales Taxes (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571641)

Income and capital gains taxes don't complicate and impede commerce?

Yes, that is correct. They complicate and impede other things.

Re:Gid Rid of All Sales Taxes (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571145)

But the sales tax is part of a tactic to maximize revenue without the taxpayer noticing. The fewer events that you tax, the greater the rate on each one. And then the taxpayer sees it and starts to ask questions. Like: What the hell are you clowns doing with all this money?

Re:Gid Rid of All Sales Taxes (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571661)

A) Find me one adult who doesn't realize they pay a sales tax. IN a state that has a sales tax, obviously.

SO, at best, your initial premise is a straw man, at worst, just stupid.

B) No, it's actually the less on each one.

C) Any taxpayer can find out exactly what they are doing with the money. It is not hidden. Don't confuse your 'Too lazy to actually look' with 'No one knows what they do with the money."

You're post has made you look stupid AND lazy.

Re:Gid Rid of All Sales Taxes (1)

wheeda (520016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571971)

This is true. It is also true that only 50% of people actually pay income tax. If we had a flat tax with no deductions, the whole population would be interested in reducing government spending. Right now 50% of the population wants more government spending because it doesn't cost them anything. Who wouldn't?

Burden is on Colorado citizens, but...? (1)

AttyBobDobalina (2525082) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571015)

Sure, undue burden on so-called out-of-state businesses on this plan. However, the drop in sales tax income as more and more sales have moved online is a serious problem that underlies the tax structure of all state governments (Putting aside arguments against the sales tax in general). What does not change is the fact that Colorado citizens are required to pay sales tax on these purchases, just like anywhere else. Of course, no one does this, so the taxes go uncollected. Coloradans may as well be Greeks. (And well, frankly, all of us.) The problem with overturning this law is that it now puts pressure on the idea of "regulating the Internet" - in other words, government may now want to obtain your internet history from your service provider to see how many items you have purchased. Call it an automated audit. Pretty sure no one is going to like that. So, sales tax is rendered obsolete with internet sales = increased property tax burdens on homeowners = further stress on already shaky housing market = ?

Re:Burden is on Colorado citizens, but...? (1)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571237)

Much simpler answer really that doesn't involve privacy issues, and that is to just raise income taxes and get rid of sales taxes. You also have the added benefit of eliminating a regressive tax.

Just get rid of sales taxes. (5, Insightful)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571057)

Sales taxes are regressive, they discourage commerce, and they incentivize cities to put up big-box stores, while property taxes encourage cities to make land-use decisions that bolster property values [utsandiego.com] .

With so many advantages of property taxes over sales taxes, the sales tax just doesn't make much sense. Conveniently, eliminating the sales tax would also solve the problem of collecting it over the Internet.

Re:Just get rid of sales taxes. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571617)

"Sales taxes are regressive, they discourage commerce,"
false.

", and they incentivize cities to put up big-box stores, "
false

"With so many advantages of property taxes over sales taxes,"

Your conclusion is, well... stupid.
Property tax and sales tax are different things, and each has value different from the other.

Sales tax is applied to all people, usually not on 'needed' items. All people pay them. .Property taxes have less of an impact on low end apts dwellers. Because it's on the property, not on per living unit; which should be changed to be based on number of apts. Because the people density is higher, so they use more servers and pay lass taxes per family then a single family unattached home does.

That's one of MANY complexities you would need to deal with in changing a tax.

Alternative collection (1)

smackmywhammy (862422) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571087)

Easy 99% fix for the states: require credit card processors to collect sales tax, and pay them for the privilege. Then there is no preference between Internet and local sales.

Re:Alternative collection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571243)

Its so easy, because you ignore the same problem that requiring out of state vendors to collect sales taxes have.. which is that the credit card processors have presence in even fewer states than internet retailers. Which would suck for Delaware residents except that Delaware doesn't have have a consumer sales tax.

Oh! Oh! Oh! Wassup Colorado? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571435)

Looks like the only thing you're taxing is our patience!

Amazon calls for a federal online tax (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571501)

because they know it can not happen. They want to appear 'fair' when in fact they are cheap bastards who won't spend a tiny amount of money to ensure states get there legally mandate tax from in state people purchasing goods.

Re:Amazon calls for a federal online tax (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571983)

The states are perfectly entitled to enter into a business relationship with Amazon where they pay Amazon to collect the state's Use Tax for them. Wait, no, I don't think that would work, because of interstate commerce laws. Nevermind.

Firsh7!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571541)

encountered while To 3e about doing

Bad Arguments (2)

asylumx (881307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571555)

There are two arguments for why Amazon should collect sales tax.
One is because the state gov'ts are losing revenue. To this one, I would argue that it is too vague which state should get that revenue anyway -- if I live in Indiana, work in michigan, and order something from Amazon (based in WA), then which state should the tax revenue go to? Does it matter if I am sitting at work in Michigan when I order it? Does it matter where I ship it to? or where my bank is?

The other argument is "not having to collect sales tax gives internet companies like Amazon an unfair market advantage." To this one I would say that the argument should not be about sales tax as long as I can buy the same cable for $2 + $4 shipping ($6 total) from Amazon as I can buy for $25 + tax from Walmart, Best Buy, Target, or whatever other brick & mortar store you can think of. The prices are often much cheaper *before* taxes are considered. I think these brick & mortar stores need to figure out how to adapt their models to the changing market rather than try to get gov'ts to legislate against their competitors.

"Use" tax (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571801)

Last year Oklahoma implemented a "use" tax. Basically, you are required by law to declare any online purchases made from retailers who do not collect state sales tax. The fact that this law is completely unenforceable did not deter the state legislature from passing it.

Most cities have sales taxes too. I wonder when cities will start trying to get on the bandwagon?

Re:"Use" tax (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 2 years ago | (#39571849)

I forgot to mention that you are required to declare this on your state income tax form.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma is considering getting rid of state income tax, soooooo ....

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