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Wisconsin Governor Proposing Tax On Downloads

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the click-and-pay dept.

Democrats 840

Christopher Reimer writes "Ars Technica is reporting that the Wisconsin's governor is proposing a tax for downloads. From the article: 'Wisconsin's Democratic governor thinks it's not fair that tangible items get taxed while downloads, like music, ebooks, software, etc., go completely untaxed. So, he proposes to rectify the situation by having Wisconsin's 5% state sales tax apply to Internet downloads.'"

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Great! (5, Funny)

infinite9 (319274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901253)

Now p2p users can be charged with tax evasion!

Re:Great! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901383)

Wouldn't that fall into federal law? Most internet purchases (especially in Wisconsin) are from over state lines. Unless they started enforcing their state sales tax nationally--which is regularly collected from the seller, not the buyer--then they would be out of their jurisdiction. They would only be able to collect from sellers within the state, so then the internet vendor would just have to establish their business out of state.

Exodus (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901441)

Hey if the Stones would leave England for tax purposes,the average joe would leave wisconsin for internet.
Imagine,land would get real cheap as the state bleeds its population outward.You could buy up a bunch and start a corporate cheese farm.(living out of state of course.

Re:Great! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901455)

Almost, but not quite!

5% of free is a whole lotta not-a-damn-thing.

If there is anything that could kill the internet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901255)

It would be this. This is like forcing the public to go back to the old AOL, where you were charged by the minute online.

Democrats vs. Republicans (5, Insightful)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901256)

I think we should try to avoid the democrat vs. republican debate and just accept that the government is thinking about taxing the internet.

Discuss.

Re:Democrats vs. Republicans (2, Insightful)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901316)

It's the natural inclination of all legislatures to tax. Democrats tend to be a tad bit worse, but Republicans are no saints about this. So you are correct. The classification should be "politics" in general.

MOD PARENT INSIGHTFUL! (1)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901344)

I'm so sick of hearing about the democrat vs. republican debate. This has to do with over-taxing governments, not politics. Mod parent insightful!

Re:MOD PARENT INSIGHTFUL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901428)

Good luck.

Re:Democrats vs. Republicans (-1, Redundant)

KhanReaper (514808) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901345)

Playing devil's advocate:

As long as Slashdot has a 'Democrats topic,' I hope that it has a topic for the GOP and others.

Re:Democrats vs. Republicans (1)

KhanReaper (514808) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901423)

Actually, I see that it does have a Republican topic, but the question is: when was the last time that I have seen it used on the main page, or even when was the last time that I saw the 'Democrat' topic on the main page prior to this?

Re:Democrats vs. Republicans (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901424)

As long as Slashdot has a 'Democrats topic,' I hope that it has a topic for the GOP

It does. [slashdot.org]

Re:Democrats vs. Republicans (5, Insightful)

jhigh (657789) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901351)

I agree that this is essentially a bi-partisan issue. However, I wonder if you would have posted this comment if the governor proposing the tax had been a Republican...

I agree there is no debate on d vs r (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901394)

They BOTH suck!

Re:Democrats vs. Republicans (2, Insightful)

Slur (61510) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901456)

I say, if this is what the people of Wisconsin want, then they should be allowed to have it! God bless them for finding yet another source of revenue they can piddle away until they need another fix. Maybe they want to build an "art park" In Milwaukee to compete with Chicago in the category of ostentatious waste.

I know this isn't a left-right thing, but I don't understand why a Democrat would bolster this idea, since I feel it is a tenet of the left to play hands-off with the net. At least, I consider myself pretty far-left and I certainly think this is a foolhardy idea given the current disparities in tax policy. I tend to think this guy must be in the pocket of some special interests, or he himself stands to benefit in some way.

Yea Right. (3, Funny)

squatex (765966) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901258)

That should be real easy to enforce.

Re:Yea Right. (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901322)

That's right: it's voluntary. In a country that can trace its origins in part to a dispute about taxes, does this man really think that people are going to voluntarily pay a tax? And what makes it even funnier is that he thinks people in Wisconsin are going to voluntarily pay.

There will be no "Internet Police" according to the article thus it will be the same as what most states (if not all) have now... Voluntary reporting of sales tax that you incurred while shopping out of state (via the Internet or magazines).

Nothing to worry about here.

Psh, politicians. (5, Funny)

RootsLINUX (854452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901261)

Is this really an important and pressing matter for the governor to concern himself with? Shouldn't he be more focused on.....I don't know, making more cheese? >_>

So would this include... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901262)

Web pages and any download for that matter. Would you have to pay a 5% tax to read your email?

Re:So would this include... (1)

ElDuderino44137 (660751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901314)

That would be great ...

Spammers beware!
The linch mobs are comming!

One question ...
5% of what?

You don't pay anything to dl your eMail?
Do you?

--The Dude

Re:So would this include... (1)

Red Alastor (742410) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901356)

I don't know for you but the download of my mail cost me 0$ for each mail and 5% of it is also 0$.

I pay my ISP to have an Internet connexion but there is already a tax on it.

riiight (1)

dismorphic (730041) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901268)

haha good luck getting that one passed.

all you have to do is... (1)

ghee22 (781277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901271)

pay through paypal.. if it's not tangible, they don't need to know your real address!

Re:all you have to do is... (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901408)

if it isn't tangible, why not just route through a proxy in another state. You can't be taxed then, and no one could tell the difference.

Idjit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901277)

Frist Paust!

IANAL, but..... (5, Informative)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901278)

IANAL, but I thought this might violate the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998 (which was renewed in 2003)......

However, this comes straight from the federal law -

SEC. 1101. MORATORIUM.

(b) Preservation of State and Local Taxing Authority.-- Except as provided in this section, nothing in this title shall be construed to modify, impair, or supersede, or authorize the modification, impairment, or superseding of, any State or local law pertaining to taxation that is otherwise permissible by or under the Constitution of the United States or other Federal law and in effect on the date of enactment of this Act.

The funny thing is, the whole law is VOLUNTARY! Although I don't think it'll matter if they really want to get the money....If it comes to pass, they'll probably make a provision to make it mandatory

-thewldisntenuff

Re:IANAL, but..... (1, Insightful)

n1ywb (555767) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901364)

Yes, paying taxes is voluntary. So is gainful employment, property ownership, owning and driving a car, and all the other nice priviledges granted to you by the government in exchange for your taxes. The only legal way to not pay taxes is to not earn any money and not own anything, IE be a bum.

Re:IANAL, but..... (4, Insightful)

jkabbe (631234) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901412)

Keep in mind that there is a difference between "voluntary" and "unenforceable." They can't directly collect the sales tax (from downloads or from, say, book sales) but you are still technically breaking the law if you don't "voluntarily" pay the tax.

Of course I am still of the opinion that this violates the commerce clause.

Re:IANAL, but..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901436)

SEC 1101 is in order to preserve the States rights to tax whatever they damn well please. ITFA applies only to federal taxation.

Does this mean (4, Interesting)

the_mighty_$ (726261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901279)

Users will have to pay tax each time they visit a webpage on a subscription based website? Visiting a page does involve downloading, of course.

Re:Does this mean (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901379)

5% of zero is still zero the last time I checked.

Re:Does this mean (1)

Yolegoman (762615) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901460)

Stupid people don't know that visiting a website means downloading something. If they did, they would probably get off the internet entirely so they don't accidently download that spyware stuff that's all over the news.

-1, Flamebait (4, Informative)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901280)

Article summary is wrong and intended to cause a flamewar.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901283)

RIP klerck

Tax the Dumb (1)

kaje103 (828985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901284)

I think we should tax governors with stupid ideas like this...

Originating state (4, Interesting)

Visaris (553352) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901288)

Wouldn't it be hare to figure out what state the downloaded files were comming from? I was under the impression that states could only tax items purchased which originated in their state, is this true?

Re:Originating state (1)

fr2asbury (462941) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901390)

Not exactly. In Michigan we're supposed to declare out of state purchases, so we can pay the proper sales tax come tax time. If you don't keep your receipts there is a default amount you can use if you so choose.
So out of state purchases are taxable, the state just has to put the burden of declaring those on the consumer as obviously the state can't regulate out of state businesses.

Re:Originating state (1)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901406)

I was under the impression that states could only tax items purchased which originated in their state, is this true?

That's only true practically, but not legally. If you look closely at your annual state tax forms, there is a blank where you insert the total value of all goods purchases by mail from out of state, to have the sales tax retroactively calculated.

Nobody bothers to fill them in, because the state government so far has no real way to check... but theoretically, they could be collecting that sales tax.

Enforcement? (2, Interesting)

kuzb (724081) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901289)

I wonder how he intends to enforce such a tax, considering any time your computer recieves data, it could be considered a 'download'.

Re:Enforcement? (1)

Tsiangkun (746511) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901361)

FTFA

"Voluntary"

maybe fair (1)

tomjen (839882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901291)

if he wants to have tax on bying items such as music. Not fair if he wants to tax bandwidth.

Yep (1)

w.p.richardson (218394) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901292)

It's not fair.

Tax none of it. That would be fair.

In related news (1)

GatesGhost (850912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901293)

hackers destroyed the governors computer.

Wisconsinite here. (4, Interesting)

k96822 (838564) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901294)

Having lived here all but 1.5 years of my life, I can say this certainly doesn't surprise me. We know we're one of the most taxed populations in the union. We know our state government is corrupt and unethical. In a state that is almost entirely M$ dominated, it shouldn't be surprising the population is ignorant about the nature of the Internet. I'd be surprised if people put up a fight here about it.

Re:Wisconsinite here. (2)

JayPee (4090) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901421)

Agreed.. I've lived here most of my life and now work for the state. (The UW system) It's almost as corrupt and fucked as Florida, but without the nice weather.

Don't even get me started how deeply the UW system is in Microsoft's pocket.

Let'em tax it (1)

stecoop (759508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901297)

Let the State Tax what it wants. It isn't a national law and the people of the state elected these official into office. The people of the state, therefore, think it is a good idea so let that state's people voluntarily pay extra tax to the local government. Taxing downloads will further whittle down the power of the federal government that regulates interstate commerce. If the federal government steps in and says the tax isn't part of the ratification the state accepted then the state could impose a (stupid) use tax. The could also implement a law like the ebay license that eff.org is all over forcing internet users to obtain license to download.

I bet the long run, the result in any of the situations isn't what you would like them to be.

Haha ha haaa hee haa hoo he hhe.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901301)

eeeeiii hhhhhaaaaa!!!!!!!!! oooeee eeehh hhhaaaaaaahahahaha..!! Gee that hurt.

Not much of a proposal... (2, Informative)

MLopat (848735) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901302)

Aside from the fact that any tangible item purchased on the internet is subject to sales tax of some sort, this new proposed law doesn't make alot of sense.

From the article: "That's right: it's voluntary. In a country that can trace its origins in part to a dispute about taxes, does this man really think that people are going to voluntarily pay a tax? And what makes it even funnier is that he thinks people in Wisconsin are going to voluntarily pay."

This new tax on downloaded items would be completely voluntary. How many slashdotters are going to lineup to pay more taxes for items that they already receive for free. Next!

Pay to download? (1)

gtpilot (821547) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901303)

Much to the chagrin of the RIAA and MPAA I can't remember the last time I payed to download something

Sucking noise... (1)

Mullen (14656) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901304)

And, Governor, that sucking noise you hear, are Internet jobs running out of the state!

5% of nothing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901307)

I can't remember the last time I *paid* for a download, so I'm not too worried. I think I can handle them taking 5% of my $0.00 payments.

I've said it once, I'll say it again... (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901308)

What this country needs is a tax on taxes. You should be compelled to pay a 5% tax on your total tax bill.

A cheezer speaks up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901309)

As a cheesehead, I am so embarrassed...

Re:A cheezer speaks up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901409)

Because of your state, or because you're a "cheezer"?

as a resident of wisconsin... (4, Interesting)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901311)

...I can truthfully say, I'm slightly scared by this, but at the same time, I have no idea how they'll enforce this. I caught this little gem in the article:

There would be no Internet sales tax police, however, because compliance would be on the honor system

Right.

GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901312)

Taxing open-source sortware would violate the GPL

Hrmf! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901317)

I was going to move to Wisconsin but now I've changed my mind!

What if it's a FREE item. (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901318)

If I give something away for FREE in Wisconsin does it get taxed? And for what reason should something be taxed on this basis? What does the Wisconsin state government do to support the e-commerce system?

Re:What if it's a FREE item. (1)

ElDuderino44137 (660751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901369)

I think the government view point is ...

They allow it to exist.
Silly ... but I think it may be true.

-- The Dude

Re:What if it's a FREE item. (2, Informative)

taniwha (70410) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901443)

umm - the answer of course is "yes", everything should be taxed equally ... and if you're math is up to scratch you too can figure out why 8% (or what ever the tax is) of 0 is not really an issue

Stop the world (1)

CarrionBird (589738) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901321)

I want that guy thrown off!

Why should one type of sales be exempt? (1)

sebFlyte (844277) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901323)

Why should internet sales be exempt from sales tax?

Just because there's no purely physical end product, that's no reason for it to be exempt of sales tax.

All power to him, I say.

Re:Why should one type of sales be exempt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901462)

commie

Isn't it interstate commerce? (1)

mc_wilson (619464) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901327)

Can you take interstate commerce? They have a case for all those Wisconsin based web businesses... Are there any Wisconsin based download services?

Re:Isn't it interstate commerce? (1)

mc_wilson (619464) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901382)

I meant "tax" instead of "take".... Leave me alone...

Uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901328)

To be blunt, how the fuck does he thing this idea is going to work?

Whats next (1)

aventius (814491) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901329)

This is a great idea. Governments have been losing out for centuries on knowledge. Taxing downloads is the first step towards the inevitable future of taxing people for each independent thought that enters their mind.

No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901330)

while software = 0 AND ebooks = 0 AND music = 0 then
tax = 0
end

LOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901334)

This is the funniest news I've seen in awhile. You can _choose_ to pay tax on internet downloads.

On a much brighter note, it's proably the only way this sort of tax could even feasibly be implimented.

..../baffled (1)

Tufriast (824996) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901335)

You know....why do we even try? Tangible, or not...it doesn't matter. Taxing downloads is like taxing air. This is pretty ludicrous. Leave it to politicians though....they'll try to tax underpants next. I'm sure Gnome Lobbyists wll object.

Stupid, yet Illegal. Brilliant! (5, Interesting)

Onimaru (773331) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901336)

Okay, so this is obviously dumb, but I'll go one better. It's also probably unjustifiable and unconstitutional.

The general justification put forth for sales tax is that it's a tax on doing business in the state and using the existing infrastructure of that state so to do. The internet doesn't really do that.

Also, there's a good argument to be made that the Negative Commerce Clause [rnoon.com] prohibits this kind of action by a state or local government. In essence, Congress gets to regulate interstate commerce, not Wisconsin.

The power to tax is the power to destroy... (3, Interesting)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901337)

The Wisconsin government could theoretically shut down the local computer store, but it does not have the power to shut down out-of-state websites.

If I lived in Wisconson, I would only be even willing to discuss the matter if it only applied to online stores located in Wisconson, not online customers. If someone drives over to where I live, they pay my local and state sales taxes when they buy stuff at a shop located in my community.

And Just how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901339)

...does he propose to collect it?

Let me guess - by monitoring everyones downloads!

This is about as smart as having a tax on receiving mail (including Junk mail).

Jon

Scary (1)

deangelo (127317) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901341)

I'm wondering what their defintion of downloading will be, in some senses EVERYTHING coming through your internet connection is downlaoded, should probably RTFA but then where would the ignorant sensationalism come from?
deAngelo

Sounds great! (5, Funny)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901346)

That means I get a refund for uploads, right?

OMFG. (1)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901347)

How long has Slashdot had sections for Democrats and Republicans? Talk about jumping the shark and bowing down before corporate masters!

good / bad? not sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901353)

not that I'm saying that this is good, but he does have a point, it is a logical extension of the sales tax.

Killing the Democratic Party (1)

Chode2235 (866375) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901355)

Great, now who is going to support the democrats if they alienate the slashdot crowd? Judging by the politics coverage, we seem to be about the only hotbed of support left (no pun intended).

Is it just me, or does it seem like the party cuts its own throat almost every three months?

Not to mention the govenor is a dumb ass, does he actually think this will go through and help Wisconsin how? I have a feeling that the tax revenue would be lost by tech companies fleeing to Minnesoata, Michigan, or Illinois (whichever is closer).

Slashdot tax (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901358)

And I propose that in WI they make the tax for downloading an article in /. to be at least 8%, so that the money collected can go to preventing duplicate headlines, saving BSD, and building a functional beowulf cluster of tax grubbing moron politicians.

Honor system (1)

Albio (854216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901365)

There would be no Internet sales tax police, however, because compliance would be on the honor system.

In what way would the honor system work? Stores allow customers to pay the tax or not based on their personal preference? Or stores decide whether or not to collect the tax??
I can see it now... "SALE! DON'T PAY THE TAX!"

Shocker (-1, Flamebait)

SengirV (203400) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901366)

That a democrat would want more tax money.

If they're going to tax everything (1)

g0hare (565322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901367)

And we ain't got no money left, aren't we just communists?

Tax on what? (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901372)

So, um, what's 5% of $0?

Cause I dunno about you, but that's what I spend on *my* downloads.

(In all seriousness, this idea is just a tax grab and is incredibly stupid for numerous reasons.)

Go fuck yourself, Christopher Reimer. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11901380)

And you, too, samzenpus, for not reading the God damn article.

What is Downloading? (1)

randomErr (172078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901386)

What does he consider downloading? When I 'surf the web' aren't I downloading hundreds of images and text files? Will we all have to have little meters attached to our computers? Or will we have to report back how much we downloaded to the DRS(Download Revenue Service)? Is this guy trying to kill the internet?

I could see something like, if pull off any file that is over 100k the you pay. How long before large files are getting broken up into 99k gzip'ed files?

Better Tax Idea (1)

FzArEkTaH (865743) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901389)

Lets tax all people of political power everytime they come up wit a stupid idea and waste the publics time! There would be no way to enforce this, and way to many loopholes for it to even be feasable.

Another great idea from the state who thinks is a good idea to shoot cats.

-_- (1)

Finalpro (866638) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901396)

Tax on downloads just doesn't seem that realistic -_-

Insanity! (0, Troll)

sinthetek (678498) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901403)

It's messed that some states are starting to tax merchandise bought online but this is is outright absurd. I wonder what if you're paying for an anti-virus solution and you have to continually download new definitions or some other form of update/upgrade for previously paid for software? Is he saying that you have to pay for *all* downloads or just downloads you're supposed to pay for? what if they downloads are homed, created and purchased from aonther state? That is just stupid!

The "honor system" (0, Flamebait)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901404)

If you read it, they're not planning on actually enforcing it. It'll be on "the honor system." Maybe because he realized how annoying it would be for them to keep track of not only every site hosted in Wisconsin that's offering downloads, but also checking every single one of those downloads to see where the computer doing the downloading is. Because, of course, they couldn't charge it if you're downloading to a computer out of state.

But, y'know, it probably sounds good to AARP members who can't use a computer - yeah! Tax those no-goodniks using the internet superhighway to do god only knows what! So he'd rather go ahead and push it through and just not enforce it than trash it altogether.

In a related story... (1)

Millard Fillmore (197731) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901407)

there is expected to be a sharp upturn in the number of mail drop customers in Northern Illinois.

Like VAT? (2, Informative)

ettlz (639203) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901422)

In the UK, we pay VAT on downloaded "goods" (I'm to taxpert, but I guess they'd be classed as taxable luxury services or something --- at least, Woolworths are running an offer where they pay the VAT on downloads). The tax is paid by the retailer and normally passed on to the consumer.

According to TFA, this is a tax on purchases, not downloads. So if it's free, keep on clicking.

Yeah, right... (1)

rhythmx (744978) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901425)

Let's see them try to figure out a way to enforce this. Hrmm... This should work:
"Please click 'YES, TAX ME' if you are in Wisconsin and want to pay more, otherwise click 'NO TAX TODAY'."

Been there, Done that: (1)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901433)

Here in Indiana, downloads are taxed too, at least via napster and ITMS,

Don't go bezerk people... (3, Informative)

Transcendent (204992) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901434)

This would only apply to things you pay for...

It won't include free websites, e-mail, free software downloads, etc... just the software you download and pay for.

Plus, this will only affect you if you live in Wisconsin, since states cannot tax interstate commerce.

a collective chuckle is heard... (1)

ScooterBill (599835) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901438)

as a massive effort is undertaken to circumvent the new taxation system.

not all downloads (1)

rpillala (583965) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901446)

The summary seems to suggest that all downloads would be subject to tax, like on a per MB basis but it's not that at all.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/mar05/307622.as p [jsonline.com]

Also, I wonder what costs are accrued to the states involved in internet transactions of this kind that warrant a tax on the transaction. Let's say that sales tax is charged to account for the costs to society of mechanisms of commerce in general. It seems like a download of an e-book incurs fewer such costs, if any.

I guess it's redundant to say that Wisconsin just wants in on that sweet iTunes action.

Voluntary Tax (1)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901447)

A little-noticed provision of the Democratic governor's proposed state budget would extend the sales tax to those Internet transactions, officials said Monday. There would be no Internet sales tax police, however, because compliance would be on the honor system.

Voluntary tax sounds similar to a voluntary catheter insertion.

In other news... (1)

ET_Fleshy (829048) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901450)

Proxy services labeled as tax evasion tools, branded unconstitutional, and shutdown. Serverless proxies like Tor [eff.org] and I2P [i2p.net] take off, become new targets from the government alongside of BitTorrent, Kazaa, etc.

Please pay tax (2, Funny)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901454)

Thank you for loading this page to view the comments. Please send $1.00 to the Wisconsin Tax office for your GET request, which now applies under the new downloading law.

Thank You.

-The Wisconsin "We make the laws, you pay for them" Government

Tax on purchases (1)

jabber01 (225154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11901464)

In a way, it makes sense. Downloadable items are goods if they're purchased, and so it makes logical sense to charge sales tax regardless of whether something is actual or virtual.

I'd love to witness the mental gymnastics required to tax something purchased within Everquest though.
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