Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

California Senate Approves Net Tax Bill

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the taxation-taxation-taxation dept.

The Internet 591

Grant Erickson points to this internet.com story, which says "On Thursday, the California state Senate approved a bill that requires businesses with stores in the state to charge their customers sales tax for purchases made over the Internet." The state's huge ($35 billion) budget deficit is named as a driving force for the measure.

cancel ×

591 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

That is the sound of inevitability.... (5, Interesting)

dtolton (162216) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938488)

Unfortunately this is something we've all known has been a long
time in coming. When it comes to the government and collecting
"their" money, they won't let any opportunity pass them by.

It will be interesting to see how this will impact online
retailing though. Not having to pay sales tax has been helpful
to sites like Amazon for keeping their costs lower than brick
and mortar stores. Although I think many people don't figure
the cost of sales tax into the purchase of an item as frequently
as they should (I know I don't), so it may not have that large
of an effect.

One interesting sales tax law in my home state (Utah) is that if
you buy something from a state that doesn't have sales tax
(Oregon) then you have to pay sales tax to Utah. Just one of
the lovely little "bend over and grab your ankles" type of laws
on the books. I'm hopeful they won't enact the same type of law
for internet commerce, but I don't have much hope.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (5, Informative)

stanmann (602645) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938552)

Actually, all states have that law... and most states have procedures to reclaim taxes paid in that state for items "used" out of state. Check your local law. In Theory, you are required to pay "USE TAX" on all items used in any location, MOST states empower merchants within that state to collect the USE TAX and refer to it as SALES TAX.

Money's a drug (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938683)

and like everybody else governments are addicted to it. With the current bad economy hurting collections, local governments everywhere are looking at increasing taxes, fees, and fines to fill in the gap created by their idiotically optimistic view that the surpluses of the 90's would continue forever.

This just helps shift more of the burden of paying for our government onto the little guy. Better not get pulled over for speeding in the next few years -- unless you drive a BMW.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (4, Interesting)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938566)

Same with Ohio, you have to declare everything you buy online. But you know what? I don't know anyone who has ever done that.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (1)

Ktulu_03 (668300) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938696)

On my last two ohio tax returns, I think I just put down that I bought a couple hundred dollars worth of stuff, to pay 15 or 20 in state sales tax. I figured its better than having a 0 on my tax return, though I've heard (from a CPA friend) that they don't audit that at all. They don't expect you to go through all your receipts for that part of your return.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (4, Insightful)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938604)

It's a never ending battle between the republican types (who hate government involvement) and the democratic types who want more centralized/governmental control.

While I think that there is such thing as "too much taxes", I don't think we're there yet. The only problem with this system (IMHO) is that when each state has their own laws, it will become very difficult for small businesses to conform and collect the proper taxes for each state.

If the states want money from online sales, propose a federal tax, whose money would be split between states proportional to the ecomerce that is done in each state.

While the system wouldn't be perfect, it would be a huge step up from 50 separate laws!

An online Starcraft RPG? Only at [netnexus.com]
In Soviet Russia, all your us are belong to base!

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (3, Insightful)

stanmann (602645) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938663)

States ONLY HAVE TO COLLECT when they do "local" business to their operating location. So Joe Cheesesteak who has a store in Trenton and sells nationwide via EBAY only has to collect tax on sales to NJ which he is already set up to do.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (4, Insightful)

aborchers (471342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938679)

Interesting theory about a federal tax distributed proportionately, but the leading aside about Republicans and Democrats distracts from it. Neither party has been discouraging "government involvement" in recent history. Rather, each has just expanded government involvement in different spheres of our lives.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938717)

Yes, I'd say it is more a division between centralist authoritarians - which no party wants to admit to being, and Libertarians, who want almost all government functions but policing (markets, borders) to be pushed down to the state level, or lower.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (4, Insightful)

jmv (93421) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938609)

When it comes to the government and collecting
"their" money, they won't let any opportunity pass them by.


Well, it's still *your* money. They either take it this way or another way. The effect is the same. Also, I really don't see how the net is so special that things you buy over it shound't have tax on them. The exception might have been good for a while to promote buying over the net, but I don't think it's necessary anymore.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938755)

its so special in the same way catalog sales are.

they are not taxed, except for a couple of states. why should the internet be treated differently. the website iof xyz company is simply a huge catalog

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938632)

I believe that taxing mail or internet orders is a violation of the interstate commerce clause of the constitution, but since that document is essentially used like a baby-wipe by politicians across the spectrum, it's unlikely that will stop this from happening.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (1)

cHiphead (17854) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938655)

doesnt this constitute as tax on interstate commerce? i thought such was forbidden, no matter whether it was the 'federal government' or a state government?

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938690)

Okay, let me get this straight. I sleep in the nude. One day, I get out of bed (nude, as like I said I sleep in the nude and when I get up, there I am.) and as I stand up, my five year old daughter comes in the room looking for (pick one) her little brother's telletubby doll/ the t.v. remote control/mommy to get her some cereal. As she arrives at the side of the bed, where I have just stood up (again, nude, as I have just arisen) my husband/boyfriend, who is a goofball perhaps but not a dangerous and creepy person in any way, picks up the camera and snaps a picture.

Maybe he does it because he thinks I'm pretty, or maybe he does it to piss me off because I don't much like having my picture taken and particularly not in the morning, or maybe he does it because he wants to capture the chaotic ambiance of our weird little life in a candid, unscripted fashion. In any case, the photograph captures me, naked as a jaybird, kind of laughing because I just realized I was having my picture taken naked at seven a.m., and my five-year-old daughter, who is sleepy and consumed with whatever immediate concerns a five year old might have at seven a.m., fully dressed in courderoy overalls with little scotty dogs on them, looking a bit forlorn (as she will, until she gets fed/finds the remote/ brings her brother his toy so he stops gibbering), the two of us standing on either side of an unmade bed.

Now, my five year old daughter has seen me naked plenty of times, we're not a family that goes around naked all the time but we aren't hung up on nudity, it's my decision not to raise my kids to panic around trivia, AND I"M THEIR MOTHER. So the roll of film gets taken to the fricken photo hut, and you (the photo hut developer) look at this picture and decide it's CHILD ABUSE? Are you serious? Are you SERIOUS? And you called the cops?

Now, you are a guy that has looked at all these teen model websites (presumably) and you've pretty much refused to read any subtext into the pictures---okay, little girl isn't NUDE, isn't performing a SEX ACT, so there's nothing WRONG. You just said in this last post, essentially, that auctioning off the worn, unwashed shorts of a twelve year old isn't wrong, because after all, who knows what the buyers intentions are? Heck the guy could be buying them for his own kid, right? And all the guys bidding against him probably intend to do the same (because we all know how interested fathers tend to be in shopping for clothes for their pre-teen daughter, hell, my old man could scarcely think of anything else in his spare time but taking MY little teenaged butt to the Juniors section of Macy's, forget golf or happy hour or puttering around the house, he wanted me to look good in specific outfits ?!?)

So you refuse to read anything vaguely inappropriate into the actions of those who gravitate to websites that feature pictures of girls 3 through 13, even though there just aren't that many plausible explanations for what these guys are doing there. But you'll call the cops on someone who happens to be non-sexually nude in a spontaneous, non posed photograph that happens to also contain their own child, who is clothed (and very likely not any more aware that her parent is nude at that moment than she is aware of the weather forcast in Bejing or the process of photosynthesis; she's in kindergarten and more importantly, focused on other things).

You seem awfully concerned that Cindy and her assorted peers not be taken away from their parents without just cause, and yet so eager to take away another child based soley on what you made sound like one (barely questionable) photo on a roll that presumably contained 23 other beyond reproach shots.

What was it about this photo, really, that bothered you? Did you know the people in it? I'm really curious. The United States of America has got to be the most hypocritical place on the planet---people get so uptight about nudity that they automatically think that sex can't exist without it and if there's nudity, there GOTS to be sex. So, every time you take a shower, I guess you must be having sex (with yourself, and your soap and towel, at the very least), cause you're NAKED? Wow, that makes being BORN pretty much an orgy!!

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938692)

> Unfortunately this is something we've all known has been a long time in coming. When it comes to the government and collecting "their" money, they won't let any opportunity pass them by.

As opposed to, say, cutting spending, where the thugs that run Kalifornistan never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Even with a $35B deficit, no sirree, we gotta give the prison guards a couple billion dollars in raises. They gave money to the Guvnah, y'know. Unlike those fuckin' teachers.

Re:That is the sound of inevitability.... (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938704)

>>Although I think many people don't figure the cost of sales tax into the purchase of an item as frequently as they should (I know I don't), so it may not have that large of an effect.

Well, here in Canada taxes add up to as much as an additional 15% on retail sales (7% Federal tax (GST), 8% Provincial tax (PST, depending on province)). If they did something similar here, it would KILL a lot of online sales.

MadCow.

California Senate approves of colon-cleansing (-1, Offtopic)

colon cleaner (671937) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938495)

Let's talk stools.

The stool tells you a lot about your colon health. If it's dark brown in color, and it sinks, and it stinks, that's not good. And don't feel bad, that's the way most people are. What you want to see is light brown color, which means it's full of fresh bile from the liver, very mild odor, and a stool that floats. We're talking low-density here folks. The more compaction you have the darker the color and the faster it sinks. Compaction is not good. Also, moving bowels should be SIMPLE. If the veins are popping out of your neck and you feel like your doing the bench press, you NEED to cleanse your colon.

When you do the cleanse, for the first few days....things are a little weird. But you know you're cleansed when you see the above good stuff happening, and you are eliminating at least 2-3 times per day.

Cleansing your colon is a 30-day process. No need to change your current diet. Its also very economical at under $52. You may be very surprised at some of the benefits you will receive besides just losing 1-5 lbs of cr*p from your body and brightening your future health.

People have reported more energy, less allergies, clearing of acne, cessation of migraines, and many other results, not to mention restored regularity. When your body is void of old, poisonous toxins that are constantly being reabsorbed through the colon walls, it can begin to heal again. And when the colon walls are clean, the good nutrients from your food and supplements can be absorbed again. You will be thrilled with the results.

Re:California Senate approves of colon-cleansing (-1, Offtopic)

Sergeant Beavis (558225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938517)

I think you are full of excrement.

I approve of ... (-1)

Weenis-X (658333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938496)

People who post first. All others are secondary in my iconoclastic universe of second-post hatred.

Additionally, look at this [goatse.cx] !

moving on out? (2, Interesting)

sweeney37 (325921) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938498)

now the question is, will companies relocate to avoid charging their customers the tax?

Mike

Re:moving on out? (5, Insightful)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938592)

Doesn't California have a state income tax? Why isn't it enough that the state makes money on the income of the business that is able to make the sale? I've never understood this. How many different ways does the government have to tax the exact same transaction before it becomes too much?

Re:moving on out? (1)

Chaotician (656075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938614)

I think Mr. Davis could offer a bit of explanation on this one. He's let the budget sink into the abyss and is looking for anything he can grab on to in order to keep himself in power for the remainder of his term.

Oregon doesn't have a Sales Tax (3, Insightful)

Colonel Panic (15235) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938667)

will companies relocate to avoid charging their customers the tax?

They should move on up to Oregon; we don't have a sales tax and we've got a lot of people who would like to have a job.

Re:moving on out? (5, Funny)

yintercept (517362) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938681)

I think California figures that it is simply too difficult to move a web site. Once you get all of those internet requests aimed at a particular state, ecommerce aren't going to just dig up and move their address. Think of all the heavy machinery and man power it would take to point a domain from one state to another!!!

It is interesting to see California leading the way to in the sales tax fray...since the net has done a pretty good job of transferring wealth from other states in Ca. Only in the last year have other states begun making good inroads onto the web.

protect against it (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938724)

Patent 'A business method for collecting taxes on California Internet Sales' quickly!

Bigger Question (1)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938725)

Are taxes collect at the POS (point of sale)?

In otherwords, if California businesses jumped over to Nevada for ISP/Mailing addresses, and shipped from California warehouses would they avoid the taxes.

All I know .. is that Newegg.com has lost some of its edge. Nice .. one example of Midwest money that will now be staying in the midwest .. or even head east.

oh... (0, Redundant)

xao gypsie (641755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938506)

well, i certainly hope that it doesnt spread to other states, though i think that when the other states notice how much revenue comes in, we are all screwed...

xao

Re:oh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938599)

it msut be late...or early. for a second, i thought i saw "girl computing...." and started thinking "wow, /. is getting a bit blunt these days....."

Re:oh...In for a penny, out for a quarter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938741)

What makes you think it's going to be alot? Online sales isn't THAT big. Certainly compared to traditional sources.

What would be cheaper... (4, Interesting)

Gannoc (210256) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938508)


Integrating a system to charge, process and report state taxes, and losing business due to your higher prices,

OR:

Moving away from california.

Re:What would be cheaper... (2, Insightful)

dspfreak (666482) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938662)

That's not an option for businesses like Barnes & Noble, Toys R Us, etc, that have retail shops in California. Those guys would have to have the sales tax, even if the internet part of their business was run from somewhere out of state.

Re:What would be cheaper... (1)

tsetem (59788) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938734)

On a similar note, that's half the problem with New York & big business. (At least upstate New York).

We've got cheap land to build on, lots of skilled labor in every discipline from EE, to CompSci, to Manufacturing & BioTech. Cost of living is in the 70-80 percentile (100 is national average).

Problem is business is taxed out the ass once they set up shop. The only way to keep business is to give them tax breaks, and then jack up sales tax (going on 8.75% in some counties), or property taxes (10-20%!!!) to try to balance the budget.

It's really no wonder businesses are trying to go elsewhere to get away from taxes & other governmental problems.

Ok, No big deal (5, Informative)

stanmann (602645) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938526)

This only affects people who live in CA and buy from California merchants. So this isn't going to affect the rest of us. Personally I don't see what the big deal is... California can't charge sales tax to "non-residents" because as yet the constitution still identifies interstate commerce as non-taxable.

Re:Ok, No big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938561)

yeah but how long until other states/provinces/countries/planetsfilledwithgiantm iniaturespacehamsters "innovate" in the MS way and invent a...tax on online purchases?:\
i wouldnt be surprised to see this coming soon

Re:Ok, No big deal (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938640)

Well, since they can only tax you if you live in the state, write your legislator, or vote it down. I don't like paying 8.xxx percent tax on local sales, but I don't have an income tax, and the state has to pay certain of its bills, so no big deal.

Contempt for the Constitution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938676)

Personally I don't see what the big deal is... California can't charge sales tax to "non-residents" because as yet the constitution still identifies interstate commerce as non-taxable.

California actually thinks they have to obey the Constitution?

Ahhh, legislators... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938530)

They'll tax anything except their brains.

Re:Ahhh, legislators... (3, Funny)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938766)

You can't tax something that doesn't exist ;)

Recall Gray Davis (3, Informative)

Jeffrey Baker (6191) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938537)

If you don't think a US$1,000 per capita budget deficit is reasonable, you too can Recall Gray Davis. [google.com]

Re:Recall Gray Davis (0, Flamebait)

infonography (566403) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938712)

Ah, the 'Republican' solution. Seriously it's hardly his fault. P>California has a hugh stake in the tech industry, when it went down so did the rest of the Californian economy. Then there were your buddies at Enron & company. Price gouging and Mail Fraud does not an incompetent make. So who is slowing the refund and prosecution of the perpetrators? Hmmmm could it be a Texas Oil Baron turned President?

Re:Recall George Bush (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938753)

If you don't think a US$1,000 per capita budget deficit is reasonable, you too can Recall George Bush jr.
Well at least impeach:
http://www.votetoimpeach.org/

uh.. (4, Informative)

pyros (61399) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938538)

Hasn't it been the case that no tax when buyin online was really just a myth to begin with. We were all supposed to be taking it upon ourselves to pay the taxes in our home state. It just wasn't ever enforced. I've seen plenty of online retailers charge tax if the shipping address is in the same state for the past few years. (megahaus.com in texas is the only one that comes to mind at the moment though)

YEAAAA!!! (5, Funny)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938543)

More business for the rest of the country!

Yes, Californian .com business, come to sunny Iowa/Ohio/Tennessee/Virginia/etc., your tax free havens! Feel free to bring all of thos employees with you, along with their salaries and credit reports.

Plenty of houses here and we have electricity year round!

Re:YEAAAA!!! (1)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938597)

Ohio has laws saying you have to pay tax on internet stuff already. Of course you are supposed to declare it yourself, but no one ever does. That could change in the future though as states start to lean on companies to charge tax.

Apple computer charged me Ohio sales tax on my G4 Powermac even though it was shipped from California. However also have offices here in Ohio so that might be why.

Re:YEAAAA!!! (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938636)

Dell charges State sales tax in Tennessee, so okay, amendment to earlier post: everybody that is not out here already move your data centers here and keep the warehouses in another State or something!

Re:YEAAAA!!! (1)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938702)

That is exactly why they charged you taxes. They have an in state presence and are required to collect and report the local taxes on your purchase. This is the same in any state that the company has a local presence. If you read the article you'll see that California is fining Barnes and Noble for not collecting local taxes on Internet sales even though the company has a local presence.

Re:YEAAAA!!! (0)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938650)

Or perhaps better schools and roads for California...

Re:YEAAAA!!! (1)

GMontag (42283) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938747)

Yep, the roads will last longer and the classes will be smaller when loads of the people that were using them move to Nebraska :-)

not Ohio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938743)

Bob 'RINO' Taft is calling for tax hikes. He'll whine and cry and piss and moan until he gets his way. The Internet is just one more cash cow to milk, as far as he's concerned.

At least now (5, Funny)

select * from (593191) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938544)

At least I can use this as an argument to convince the wife to allow me to go on a mass spending spree on newegg.com before it goes into effect.

Is this so obnoxious? (1)

SamBC (600988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938548)

I mean, it sounds to me like they are closing a loophole in tax law that exempts online sales in the state from sales tax, which all other sales must pay.

The only problem is that it sounds possibly as if they will be charging this tax when the sale was not to someone in the state.

This is nothing new, right? (4, Insightful)

IsoRashi (556454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938554)

I thought it was already the case that businesses who performed business over the Internet (or through catalogues or whatever) had to charge sales-tax as long as their business had a physical presence in the state?

E.g., I live in NJ, I buy from a company that has no physical business presence (i.e. a store-front or hq or warehouse) in NJ. I am not charged sales-tax. Legally, I am required to declare these items when I do my income taxes for the year and pay the sales-tax then. If I buy online from a store that exists in NJ (e.g., Best Buy), then they must charge sales-tax and that amount is included in my bill.

Maybe this is just NJ, or maybe I'm just confused. Any lawyers/accountants who can shed light on the matter?

Re:This is nothing new, right? (1)

IsoRashi (556454) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938665)

Found this article [nolo.com] that attempts to explain it all. I'm not sure how old the article is, unfortunately. It supports what I stated in the parent post, but further shows that companies can establish seperate legal entities to handle different sections of business. For example, a store can exist in the state, and then create a seperate branch to handle Internet business. By using this loophole, they can escape charging sales-tax for many online purchases.

Re:This is nothing new, right? (1)

MegaHamsterX (635632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938705)

Nope, you nailed it, that sounds about right here too(FL), you should declare all purchases made out of state and used in the state, no one does tho. Considering we have no state income tax here, we should probably pay it.

Re:This is nothing new, right? (1)

Bob Hellbringer (320931) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938732)

Likewise, In Washington State, I am charged our sales tax to do on-line business with the in-state companies such as Amazon, Best Buy, etc... But I do not pay sales tax from Newegg, Buy.com, Sierra Trading Post, or any of the other out-of-state stores with no physical presence here. In other words, On-line sales are treated the same way as mail-order stores.

So does this mean (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938557)

That if I as a European purchase something from an online store in California I must pay sales tax to the state of California ?

Re:So does this mean (3, Insightful)

pyros (61399) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938593)

no, it means people in California must pay sales tax when purchasing from online retailers with a physical presence in California.

crap (0)

jasonsfa98 (648370) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938558)

Do they not see how bad this is going to be for online stores? Not paying tax is a HUGE reason why people buy online. Not only is it cheaper in some cases, it just feels good not to give money to the man. They tax you when you earn it, they tax you when you spend it. Errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

customer perspective (3, Insightful)

StandardDeviant (122674) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938560)

(tongue firmly in cheek:)
Hm, so if I buy things from stores that charge me California sales tax am I eligible to get a vote in California in addition to my Texas one, and get Californian social services as well as Texas ones? Could I transfer from UT-Austin to UCB without losing instate tuition status?

If not, this is taxation without representation.

Re:customer perspective (1)

crgrace (220738) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938628)

Hm, so if I buy things from stores that charge me California sales tax am I eligible to get a vote in California in addition to my Texas one, and get Californian social services as well as Texas ones? Could I transfer from UT-Austin to UCB without losing instate tuition status?

If not, this is taxation without representation.


I know you were joking. But if I fly out to Austin and buy something, I would have to pay Texas sales tax and yet not be represented. Likewise, if you fly out to LA you will have to pay California sales tax. Seems fair. If you buy from a Californian website how is that different from buying from a store in California in person?

Pricewatch (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938562)

Seems like a large percentage of stores on Pricewatch are California based. This tax ought to hurt them a bit. This is, of course, a geek's analysis of where the tax will hurt us :)

Huge budget deficit? (1, Flamebait)

Surak (18578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938564)

Have these guys TAKEN math courses? There's two sides to this equation!

Money_Taken_In - Money_Spent = Budget_Surplus_Or_Deficit

Negative values of Budget_Surplus_Or_Deficit are deficits.

Why don't they try SPENDING LESS rather than TAKING IN MORE?

Oh, I forgot, the California is on the LEFT coast.

Re:Huge budget deficit? (3, Informative)

ChadN (21033) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938658)

Our state (CA) is slashing budgets for public schools, while spending $100 million on a new death row for San Quentin.

How LEFT wing is that?

Re:Huge budget deficit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938716)

How left is the giant welfare state set up to support mexican illegals, which probably make up close to 40% of californias current population.

That's the root of their problem. But to suggest the ILLEGALS be deported is racist in P.C. California.

Re:Huge budget deficit? (1)

ApharmdB (572578) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938759)

Why, you can't deport the illegals! Who else is going to work for dirt cheap wages because they are afraid of getting reported? Businesses will lose their source of cheap labor!

It's all about the money.

Re:Huge budget deficit? (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938730)

They're not spending it on lollipops man. California has a big ass population to take care of, and they need money for education/roads/environment and other social programs which are what make California great.

Noone likes taxes, but hating them is foolish.

Thank God for Government! (0, Flamebait)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938565)

Supporting an obviously failing model by increasing taxes. Lemmie think of the last few times that hppened.

The American Revolution
The signing of the Magna Carta

It's time to sever the ties to California and push them into the ocean. They think that they're their own little country, bomb the San Andreas fault and make them one!

This changes nothing (5, Insightful)

unfortunateson (527551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938575)

As the article says, it only changes enforcement of the laws on the books, and maybe broadens existing rules just a bit: service and other facilities within the state now count as brick & mortar to cause you to be responsible for in-state sales tax.

Amazon already keeps its distribution facilities in Oregon and Nevada for just this reason. They might get caught if they have a supply/delivery depot set up for same-day delivery in LA.

This is mainly to put some muscle into collecting from folks like Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble and Borders, who claimed to have separate businesses running their internet. The new law states that the same 'brand name' is a trigger for tax collection.

I see CA plans to rewrite a lot of laws.... (1)

jcrb (187104) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938660)


What they are saying is "we don't care if you are seperate businesses, if you have the same name we will tax you anyway"???????

What kind of nonsense is this? What if I licensed the "brand name" of a brick and morter for my e-biz? Now they have to pay taxes on my sales? Damn STUPID money grubbing "public severents"......

Already being done? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938586)

Ok, is it just me or is this already being done? I'm charged sales tax for best buy, circuit city, little computer stores, etc. So, what does this change? This just forces companies to do what they're already doing? Honestly, the net tax was a long time coming, just like catalog shopping. Yes, you'll have to pay tax, but for the most part you already were from these places. Or at least I was, both in California and NYC...

California residents (2, Informative)

Yossarian45793 (617611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938589)

If you already live in California (about 1/6 of the population of the USA does) then this bill doesn't affect you.

This is sort of like the massive tax on hotel rooms. Tax people from out of town, because they can't vote against the politicians levying the taxes!

Re:California residents (0, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938742)

If you already live in California (about 1/6 of the population of the USA does)

s/USA/Mexico

Re:California residents (1)

xchino (591175) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938748)

No.. this ONLY effects those doing business on both ends within california.

Double Taxed? (2, Interesting)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938595)

So now what happens for people in Michigan (and perhaps other states)? We are required to report any online purchases (and pay Michigan tax on those purchases) when we file our state income tax returns each year. This includes purchases from other states. How does this get handled if I buy from California?

Canada (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938596)

Purchases made over the internet in Canada (from Canadian e-sellers) have always been subject to the same sales tax as brick and mortar shops. I don't think internet sales should be given a (relative) subsidy. Can anyone tell me the reasoning behind no-tax internet purchases, if there is any?

In Canada (1)

RebelTycoon (584591) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938598)

This has been the case all along. Any customer living in your province had to be charged the provincial sales tax. Any person living in Canada had to be charged GST.

This is nothing new up here in the North, I'm surprised it took this long to implement.

I also don't think it will have much effect on businesses since for many, Internet sales only account for a small portion of the sales.

Tax Fast Food (4, Interesting)

aSiTiC (519647) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938603)

I heard a story here in Oregon on the local news that the Oregon legislator is discussing a tax on fast food. I agree with this kind of tax that same way I agree with taxes on cigarettes and liquor. The state ends up paying for health care for obesity, lung cancer and liver problems.

However, I think that this internet tax does not have the same kind of reasoning. The internet is bringing revenue in for the state and now the state is trying to find a way to make more money.

Heh (3, Interesting)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938607)

Californians will be the most heavily taxed state in the union inside of a decade.

Thank Gray Davis and his complete incompetence, but don't forget to give a shout out to the hippies and celebrities who hold so much sway out there.

I swear to god, there's something wrong with people's heads in that state. I've mentioned before I write police software for a living, and we have some California sites.

Most municipalities out there have this screwed up system for dealing with false alarms, and it all boils down to: after the seventh alarm, your permit is revoked, you're charged with being a public nuisance. Both of which make some sense, but get this, the police are to no longer respond to your residence.

I mean, any crooks in LA and it's surrounding counties, theres the hot tip o' the day. Find a business that has had seven false alarms within 12 months (thats a sliding window, not a calendar year), and it's free for the pickins! Smash the window, shoot the owner in the face, the police wont come!

All because some dipshit politician with his head up his ass thought that the police refusing protection to citizens would be a great cost-cutting measure.

Of course, the police will still show up. They cant afford not to, there are too many liability issues (imagine the feeding frenzy if some clerk bled to death on the floor of a 7-11 because the police wouldnt come out for alarm #8).

Bah, that states done. You could fill a library with stupid laws and idiotic political moves in california. Cecede and form Moronia, already.

A big DUH... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938611)

Why didn't they have a law like this in place already? Most have had one in place cince the 50's covering anything bought by mail order and the company has a presence in that state then sales tax must be collected.

From what I can tell from online purchasing, the other 49 states have had this a really long time..

Now, if they are trying to tack on extra taxes... like yes you are in michigan and we have a store in michigan so on top of the michigan sales tax you have to pay california sales tax?

It's really sketchy on the details... funny how lawyers and government try their damnedest to write everything in gobblety-gook-speak instead of clear english.

Any libertarians here? (2, Insightful)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938613)

I think the accounting overhead is worse than the money bite with most taxes. They should just raise property taxes or something that's not so hard to keep track of. As it is this just creates more government jobs to attempt to enforce this.

CA Legislature (1, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938618)

The worst thing about the California Legislature is the fact that there is NO oposition. The democrats are in control of the whole thing. Senate, Assembly and the Govenorship.

And you know when money is short the easiest and quickest way to PISS OFF only "rich people" is to raise taxes. That is right, PISS OFF the people who MAKE the economy.

Instead of trying to control spending, the democrats only solution is to raise taxes, drive business out of the state, and give away services to people who don't contribute a thing to the economy.

When was the last time a democrat ever suggested cutting some bloated social program of dubious merit? NEVER. Instead the beat up the "rich".

It is like the right wing on Terrorism, where evertying is a potential terrorist plot or whatever.

The clear point is that there needs to be opposition. It doesn't matter if you are a democan or republicrat.

Next time, vote libertarian. Real political change, Real Freedom.

Re:CA Legislature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5938738)

> And you know when money is short the easiest and quickest way to PISS OFF only "rich people" is to raise taxes. That is right, PISS OFF the people who MAKE the economy.

Actually, consumer spending is the driving force of the U.S. economy. In other words, us countless millions of middle- and lower-class American citizens. Piss off only rich people? Do you really think Bill Gates and Ellison give a rat's ass that they'll have to pay a few extra dollars on a California Web purchase?

This screws the little guys. The rich SOBs getting their million-dollar tax breaks from the White House (on OUR backs) will never know.

Stop it before Snowballs (1)

beaucfus (584676) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938641)

Everyone needs to contact their state representitives to let them know we disaprove. Here in texas, go to: http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/fyi/fyi.htm Send them a letter saying, I may not have voted for you, but I sure as hell will vote against you if this happens here.

Good idea! (1)

Jaywalk (94910) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938643)

Lets make a special tax just for companies based in our state! And if they don't take the hint we can go and beat them around the head and shoulders with two-by-fours.

This could be bad for Californias tech industry... (2, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938645)

Much of my computer equipment is bought from online companies in California... a tax on computer equipment would probably be enough to drive people who purchase in bulk elsewhere..

Hell if the same item costs less somewhere else..thats where I'll go...

Good luck Cali, this is a true gamble.

Better solution (0, Troll)

Squeezer (132342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938653)

why don't they just cut social service programs. Thats where the bulk of the money goes to. The state should quit giving free handouts to moms that have 8 babies and won't work because they are too lazy. Cut welfare, medicaid, handouts to illegal immigrants. Kick the illegals out and make the people on welfare get jobs.

No self respeciting Californian liberals... (1)

YllabianBitPipe (647462) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938729)

... would do anything of the above you mention. Forget it!

Move your business up to Oregon (1)

Colonel Panic (15235) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938694)

... We don't have a sales tax up here and there are lots of folks desperate to find work.

This won't get them very far (1)

pizzaman100 (588500) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938695)

According to the article, the California budget is short $35 billion. Closing this loophole will give them a whopping $14 million. That means they only have to come up with another $34.86 billion.

The Internet's getting expensive... (1)

Necrobruiser (611198) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938699)

Not only are they now charging for sales tax in California, but I just got an email telling me that they're going to be charging me $.05 for every email I send....

Gray-out wants pay-out (0)

cabodog77 (561120) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938709)

I'm a techie that just moved away from my beloved CA, and this just bums me out to see this. Someone get Gray-out Davis out of office. Here's something for you non-CA residents --

How To Tell if Your State is Going Under Economically:

1) Your state government runs like CA's does.
2) See 1).

I wonder how many more high-tech jobs will end up leaving the state now...(it's why I left)!

boo...

Very Simple Solution (2, Insightful)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938711)

This is a bad idea. I don't think I need to explain why here -- that's preaching to the choir. The question is what to do about it and I think it's simple:

If you go to an online vendor, and you notice they're located in Califorinia, go someplace else.

There's countless online retailers and even if plenty of them are located in CA, you've got plenty of options left over. From time to time, it may be inconvenient, but it shouldn't be that bad.

Remember that if you demonstrate that new taxation like this increases revenue for the state, others will follow. Slashdot has got to represent a significant portion the online market: let's make sure other states don't do the same.

I thought this was already in place... (1)

Dynedain (141758) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938718)

I dont see what the big deal is, everybody I've purchased from online who is in California has already been charging sales tax since I'm a resident.

Again California shoots off its own foot. (5, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938721)

"On Thursday, the California state Senate approved a bill that requires businesses with stores in the state to charge their customers sales tax for purchases made over the Internet."

If this goes into effect, what will the effect be? Simple.

California's sales tax is typically over 8%. (It varies by location, because cities and counties are allowed to add on their own small deltas.)

So the result will be that companies which are primarily net retailers will CLOSE ANY STORES THEY HAVE in California. Standalones will move their operations to other states. Even large retail chains with an internet sales outlet may split into subsidiaries.

8ish percent of gross is a LOT in a heavily-competitive market. And the WHOLE POINT of buying something on the Internet is that the price differential must be more of a draw than the lack of a local facility is a repellant. So if a company has to charge an extra 8ish percent if it continues to have a presence in the state, it will, if at all possible, eliminate its presence in the state, rather than watching the bulk of its business switch to its competitors or just go away.

The net effect on California's budget will be negative. It will lose more in taxes, on store sales, employee income taxes, and other taxes on the businesses that fold up and move (or die) than it collects. It will also incur extra costs from the business shutdowns - such as unemployment and/or other social program costs for workers that don't move to follow the business.

==========

If this also passes the assembly it will almost certainly be signed into law - because Gray Davis is clueless about anything financial. (Witness his reaction to the "electric deregulation" debacle.)

Amateurs From the land of 10,000 taxes, (4, Informative)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938735)

Those of us in Minnesota always pay taxes on goods purchased over the internet or otherwise. It is called Use tax [state.mn.us] , and the idea is it protects our local business - while generating revenue for the state as an after thought... (I don't buy it either)

Nothing here to see - move along...

out of the shoot (1)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938745)

Ok, I know that people are going to be all up in arms about the 'gummint' destroying the 'net and taxes being evil.

Why, in the name of all-that-is-holy should internet sales NOT be taxed? This is different from counter sales in what way? this forum is always first to complain about software/method patents (singleclick forinstance) simply because something was normal in the 'real world' doesnt mean that its logical parallel on the 'net is unique. Same here w/ taxes, sales on the net are not unique. Online retailers should be charging taxes to everyone who makes a purchase - the only question is it the destination state (and their rate) or the state the object is sold from (shipped from? hosted from? incorporated-in?)... all basically minor questions, in the end, the Online Retailers are enjoying a subsidy by skirting taxes.

Im canadian, so this doesnt really bother me much (my tax-rate/benefits-returned situation is fine by me..) -- but with the currently terrible state of the US economy, and its defecit rates (federal/state) -- you guys should start to become a little more practical...

Hmmmm.... (1)

meckardt (113120) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938751)

Let's see: if I buy on line from a store like Best Buy, that has stores in California, but elsewhere as well, and live in another state, I pay California sales taxes? What happens when other states inact similar taxes? Will I have to pay sales taxes to each state hosting a Best Buy store?

They are just following the old rule... (4, Insightful)

dvk (118711) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938757)

"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
- Ronald Reagan

Of course, the rulers of the Peoples Republic of California filed to notice that Reagan didn't mean this as an advice.

-DVK

Consumer: Don't buy from CA (2, Insightful)

shokk (187512) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938768)

If they choose to enforce this law, then you as the consumer can choose to not purchase over the Internet from companies in California. Plenty of others to choose from and I doubt the law stands if things get worse because of public outcry. Too many people think of the Internet as something that will inevitably fall to taxation, when I say it laid the first ground for no-tax laws. Make your voices heard people, or just pay your sheep tax.

What determines in state? (1)

nomel (244635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5938769)

I'm curriouse as to what determines the location of the store. What if it is a purely online store, with the server based in Alaska or something? Would it just go by the location of the storage area? if so, what if there was no storage area, and everything was ordered by the online store owner directly from a company out of state?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?