3 Reasons to Love the Internet Sales Tax Bill

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There are few pieces of legislation that have worked their way through Congress over the past couple of years that are as polarizing as the Marketplace Fairness Act. Also known as the Internet sales tax bill, this measure would allow states to force online retailers with more than $1 million in annual out-of-state sales to collect sales tax from their customers, and then turn that tax over to state and local governments.

Needless to say, the bill has a fair number of supporters and also plenty of opposition. Supporters of the bill argue that imposing a tax on Internet sales would only be fair since state and local governments already collect tax on brick-and-mortar businesses. Those who oppose the bill point out that it gives the federal government too much power in state and local government tax affairs and could subject online retailers to a slew of state and local audits.

Regardless of which side of the aisle you're on, there are both positive and negative aspects to the bill. Today, I intend to look at three reasons you should welcome the Internet sales tax bill with open arms. Later in the week I'll look at the other side of the coin and point out its faults.

Reason No. 1: It will give brick-and-mortar retailers new life.
The clear winner of this type of legislation would be brick-and-mortar retailers that have been previously crushed by the "showrooming effect." One of the best examples of this is big-box retailer Best Buy (NYSE: BBY  ) , which has seen sales slow as consumers used its stores to figure out which items they wanted to buy, then turned to online retailers such as (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) and eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY  ) for their purchases since the sale price was often lower and, as a bonus, there was no sales tax in most instances.

The disadvantage to brick-and-mortar retailers is that they're required to pay tax in each state that they operate in. Best Buy has stores in all 50 states; therefore it pays taxes in, you guessed it, 50 states. and eBay, on the other hand, are only required to collect tax in states where they have offices or distribution centers. This leaves a vast majority of states in the gray area where they aren't required to collect taxes from consumers, giving both quite the comparative advantage over traditional retailers.

The Internet sales tax bill would close this "loophole" and allow brick-and-mortar retailers to get back on level ground with Internet retailers. Best Buy is already trying to do this with its new price-matching policy, but this bill would certainly expedite matters.

Another way of looking at this is that it could keep thousands of brick-and-mortar jobs secure. With most online retailers losing their huge comparative advantage, it would free up traditional retailers to focus on expanding their brand, enhancing their product offerings, and focusing on the service that once made them great.

Reason No. 2: It will encourage competition and innovation.
One of the most interesting factors about breaking down the huge advantage that online retailers currently have over traditional retailers is that it would likely encourage innovation at a considerably faster pace than we're seeing now.

Again using Best Buy as an example, the big-box retailer saw sales of its televisions and other appliances sink like a stone in recent years because it never really adapted its game plan. Being bigger and having a wider selection than its smaller peers, Best Buy simply relied on it size and expected that the products would eventually sell themselves. It wasn't until Amazon and eBay changed the game through price undercutting and expanded online electronics offerings that put Best Buy's in-store selection to shame that Best Buy began to shift its strategy. Recently, the company has turned the tables by shrinking its square footage, opening mobile-focused centers to drive traffic, and incentivizing its associates to make sales. Had this online competition not existed, Best Buy's complacency might have gotten the better of them.

With the sales tax bill leveling the playing field between online retailers and traditional retailers, the fight for customers should only intensify, which is rarely bad for consumers. What I'd expect to see is a combination of discount and loyalty battles between these types of retailers. As you might expect, online retailers will focus on their larger inventory capacity and use discounts to sway consumers. Brick-and-mortar retailers will emphasize the ability to touch and feel products in their stores, as well as loyalty reward credit and store cards, to keep consumers coming back. Any way you look at it, this is a win-win for the consumer.

Reason No. 3: It will generate $22 billion to $24 billion in annual revenue.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you're probably well aware of the fact that our national debt is quickly approaching $17 trillion. Federal budget deficits in recent years have run in excess of $1 trillion per year as the government has tried everything under the sun to stimulate a struggling economy. With the economy finally gaining some traction, the need to cut back on spending, as well as generate more revenue from taxes, is now front and center. You might say Uncle Sam needs your tax money now more than ever. 

Source: Painting by James Montgomery Flagg. 

If you recall, the last couple of debt-ceiling debates Congress has have ended in almost circus-like fashion. Rather than dealing with the issues at hand, politicians on both sides of the aisle merely swept the problems under the rug to be dealt with later. A lack of meaningful resolution led to the imposition of sequestration earlier this year, which necessitated $85 billion in federal budget cuts and temporarily spooked investors.

The Internet sales tax bill won't be an overnight cure for the nation's bleeding checkbook, but it will add in the neighborhood of $22 billion to $24 billion in annual tax revenue to state and local governments. That's great news at a time when funding across many social programs is scarce. In addition to the added revenue, it could also calm investors a bit as the funding gap -- assuming Congress keeps spending where it's at now -- would close just a bit more. I repeat, this isn't a cure to the nation's budget deficit, but it's a solid step in the right direction.

Onto the House
Admittedly the Internet sales tax bill is still a long way from becoming law in spite of a passing vote (69 to 27) in the Senate on Monday. Opposition in the House of Representatives stands firm against the bill, yet, as I alluded to above, the opposition isn't just based on party affiliation. Whether or not this is the first of many attempts to enact a universal Internet sales tax, I can say with certainty that consumers have some pretty undeniable reasons to love this bill if it's eventually signed into law.

Stay tuned as later in the week I'll dig into some of the potential pitfalls of this bill as well.

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Read/Post Comments (83) | Recommend This Article (9)

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  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:04 PM, clemener wrote:

    just a another attempt for a Revenue (new buzz word for Tax Increase) Grab... same for the so called background checks...$$$

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:17 PM, sporttster wrote:

    Uh, no way will I 'love' this!! In fact, I'm going to write my Reps and tell THEM not to 'love' this, either! It will not help anyone but retailers. Surely won't help the consumers one bit!!

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:18 PM, Manteis wrote:

    This article reminds me of the 1930's fascist propaganda my Italian grandmother told me about....

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:20 PM, antipolitic wrote:

    i think this state taxes is bunch of bs it just another way for politicians to screw us over like they always do they should stay out of are business

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:22 PM, sam1064 wrote:

    This site is aptly named, they are fools. None of the above will benefit consumers. States that get more money will spend even more.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:23 PM, mortmain wrote:

    Yeah, let's send more money to those clowns... There is over 9,600 different sales tax entities in this country.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:23 PM, fitzsj wrote:

    No, I haven't been under a rock - just pinned behind one - $22 to $24B of revenue will just be spent on more wasteful programs. Taking money in sales taxes removes productive dollars that will never generate wealth as it is supposed to. Keynesian economics do not work!

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:29 PM, DCRepublican wrote:

    I can give you several reasons to hate the tax:

    1) The purchaser is paying tax to a jurisdiction that has not much recourse to help if there is a problem. This is nothing but a cash grab and has nothing to due with being "fair". Most of the time I use the internet for convenience not always price although it is a consideration.

    2) The States in which the business resides are covering Regulatory issues, Inspection, police and fire and get nothing for a sale that is taking place on their domain.

    3) Sales tax is a poor source of revenue and this will be an accounting/enforcement nightmare. It will be so easy for a business in SD to just delete the 120 sales records in Maine in the past year and keep the profit and send Maine nothing.

    A much better plan is to either leave it alone or let the States with the vendor charge a flat rate 2-3% tax on out-of-state sales. Each state would like it since they get the revenue and the purchasers are not voters. Small businesses need to accept the fact that selling a non-perishable and non-necessity commodity type product is not a great business model anymore. These business need to provide local delivery and other value-added services or I can just wait 3-5 days for it and not have to drive, park and shop. Personally I will be looking at prices and shipping against businesses that have less then 1 million in revenue so I don't have to pay the tax.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:29 PM, 98059 wrote:

    What a load this article is.

    "Best Buy (NYSE: BBY ) , which has seen sales slow as consumers used its stores to figure out which items they wanted to buy, then turned to online retailers". Best buy's problem They are a lousy story. I wouldn't ever buy anything from them.

    The playing field is already level between the brick and mortar because you have to pay freight to on line retailers and it is typically more than the tax would be.

    The whole thing is a money grab by the government so they can continue their wqasteful spending.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:33 PM, Davmme wrote:

    So this is what it has come to? Billion dollar companies paying lobbiests to use taxes to destroy their competitors? What big company did not start out as a small company? What big company does not want to destroy as many small competitors as possible. How can a tax in a state that a person does not reside in be Constitutional? It's not. No taxation without representation. I was a small company in a state that CONTINUALLY sent demand letters for taxes that I did not owe. I got sued and had to hire a lawyer and accountant just to prove that I did not owe the money. Its a common tactic. How about 50 states doing that all at once. How do I know what items are to be taxed in Hawaii or Alaska. What if the state software does not work? Am I liable for penalties and interest? Is it good for brick and mortar business. Maybe but they have gone the way of the Buggy Whip a decade ago. This legislation will bring them back. And this tax will also be the end of the internet, small business start up and every economic engine that goes with it.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:40 PM, fwe43 wrote:

    Remember you must pay your state government first before you have the right to purchase any goods.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:42 PM, Colsrob wrote:

    Don't be evasive, ,this whole thing should be called "The Best Buy Fairness For Whiners Act".

    They are the main reason for such a thing, and the money grabbing politicians are only too happy to try and 'help them' out.

    The problem: Best Buy is no way in danger of closing because of supposed unfair tax practices. It's their prices. It always has been. When they first opened up they were the big boys and didn't have much real competition. Add in some competition and they start crying foul.

    I don't want this to pass, but if it does, I still hope that Best Buy goes under. I don't care about them and they deserve it. The jobs lost, concern me not as well, as that's what they get for working for such a stupid company.

    Also, as others stated, you last "Plus" is misleading. EVERYONE knows that not one penny of any new tax revenue will go towards lowering the debt. It will just give the govt 24bill more to waste on their favorite money pits.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:44 PM, fahrenheit2014 wrote:

    What a load of lies. This is not good, but the MSM is spinning it. This will destroy small business and so will Obamacare. Congrats Socialists you are winning.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:46 PM, m3llomatt82 wrote:

    1. Why should I pay for unnecessary bricks and mortar?

    2. Isn't the internet a result of innovation and competition?

    3. Aren't they already taking enough my money? Who is benefitting from my money...? People who are non productive and vote for liberals.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:46 PM, kelly711forever wrote:

    Reason No. 1: It will give brick-and-mortar retailers new life.

    Instead they should try adapting and providing better customer service. Most of us are willing to spend a few extra cents or dollars to support our local businesses if they are providing a valued service. Unfortunately, most of these places are no longer customer oriented, so we have gone to where we can purchase items the cheapest.

    Reason No. 2: It will encourage competition and innovation.

    Internet sales are the competition and innovation for the brick and mortar stores. Handicapping with the competition will not make the brick and mortar stores more competitive.

    Reason No. 3: It will generate $22 billion to $24 billion in annual revenue.

    The government is going to generate anything. If passed, the government will be taking more money out of the pockets of the consumers to fund the greatly bloated spending habits of the governments. Governments need to spend wiser instead of taking more from us.

    The internet sales tax bill unnecessarily will burden on-line business by potentially forcing them to collect, file, and submit taxes with hundreds of different governments collecting these sales taxes, where the local brick and mortar store still only have to file their local and state (if their city, county or state has a sales tax).

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:47 PM, freewill2 wrote:

    Article 1, section 9, US Constitution..No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

    Section 8 gave authorization for post roads to ensure safe passage thru States and not be charged.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:48 PM, crashoften wrote:


    Is the author of this foolishness on Harry Reids payroll? WTF? The american consumer should be doing it's best to wean politicians OFF our hard earned money. Best Buy and other brick and mortar stores have an advantage that they are local and people can view, compare and pick-up items same day. I don't buy online because I save a few bucks on the tax. I buy online because the brick and mortar stores charge a hell of a lot more for what should be inexpensive items. I'd shop the hell out of Best Buy if they didn't overcharge for every computer accessory in their catalog. The fact is, non perishible goods no longer need to be stocked locally in great supply. It is not the fault of Amazon or NewEgg that Best Buy was late to the online party and rushed to open too many stores. They have the responsibility of fine tuning their business plan. It shouldn't be that Americans fine tune tax law to accomodate THEM. Perhaps Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples should close down more stores instead of asking the government to subsidize them by punishing the consumer.

    Best Buy won't LOWER prices if Amazon charges more. It actually emboldens companies to keep their prices inflated as customers are FORCED to pay higher prices through taxes. Artificially raising prices when there isn't a demand is the hallmark of government/business failure.

    Tax laws don't force companies to inovate. They force them to downsize. Inovation comes from a need. The consumer has ALWAYS asked for lower prices. Taking on new tax laws and other recent federal requirements (the health care debacle) businesses are already downsizing to the bone.

    Does the author really think that Best Buy is going to see a flood of consumer activity with this law? Does the author actually think with more money, local governments will finally resolve to balance their budgets? Where have you been for the last 70 years?

    There are no reasons to love the internet tax bill unless you got caught with your pants down by holding too much best buy stock and think this is going to rescue them.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:49 PM, snakehunter wrote:

    Let's see. $22-24 Billion/year equates to roughly $1 trillion per 40-45 years? Yep, That will REALLY be the game changer, right, while the government spends more than 3.5 trillion dollars PER YEAR! Might as well go spit on a fire to put it out!

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 9:51 PM, uhhuhuhhuh wrote:

    When did we add new states to the US with sale tax so that Best Buy needs to pay tax to those states? The author is just pulling imaginary states out if his behind with sale tax so he can say that there are 50 of them with sale tax?

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:00 PM, N2FFL wrote:

    "It will generate $22 billion to $24 billion in annual revenue."

    Yeah more of our hard earned tax dollars for our so called leaders to throw away. More taxes don't fix anything, they never do.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:02 PM, gqndad wrote:

    It may generate 22-24 billion in new revenue but the government will generate 26-28 billion in new expenditures.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:03 PM, Brenden96 wrote:

    Just another lame excuse to take more money from people who actually work hard.Until people wake up and actually pay attention to the law makers in this country will continue laws like this to take more money from hard working citizens.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:23 PM, crash3085 wrote:

    I don't think this will help companies like Best Buy. I pay taxes on almost everything I buy from Amazon anyway. The reason I buy from Amazon and other online stores is because the selection is better, the prices are better, and it's more convenient. And the best part is that I don't have to drive somewhere, fight for parking, and then deal with idiot salespeople. I will (and have) paid more to order things online before too, just to avoid having to deal with people at a store. I also often purchase from the manufacturer's stores (Lenovo, Yamaha, Canon, etc) which also charge tax. The reason? I can usually get models and specs not found at the regular retail outlets. Anyway, I suspect most others would be the same and this isn't going to cause people to start going to Best Buy.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:24 PM, spinod wrote:

    I think the reasoning is BS, just looking for light in a dark place.

    Online retailers were the only business' booming in our messed up economy, so what does the government decide to do? Ruin it.

    I thought Obama and his administration were supposed to provide jobs? Not take them away!

    Honestly, people went to online because taxes in retail made things too expensive period. So now people will just go back to not buying anything. They won't randomly go "oh time to go back to best buy" they just wont buy period.

    New revenue? And? almost all of that will go into congress' pockets. They can't fix the problem at all with the revenue they have now, why give them even more money?

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:28 PM, Dadx7 wrote:

    How stupid does the author think we are? I can see no benefit to me or anyone else from a tax increase. I usually shop the internet because I can't find what I'm looking for in the stores. The reasons given to justify this law are as stupid as the authors' of the law. There is no benefit to the general public; only to big business and state/local governments.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:35 PM, mbearu2002 wrote:

    Tell our government to stop overspending,stop wasting,and make everyone pay their fair share of taxes.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:40 PM, cocacola30 wrote:

    I doubt the internet tax bill, will have consumers running to Best Buy or any other name brand stores. When I use Amazon, EBAY or OverStock, It is usually because the items are cheaper, and you can find what you are looking for without having to go the store, now that I have to pay taxes it just enhances the convenience of shopping from home and having it delivered to you

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:42 PM, dicksucker6969 wrote:

    Sean Williams is an absolute moron! He is a sheep that is full force drinking the koolaid and should be put away instead of attempting to brainwash people into thinking that any of this crap he just wrote is decent. What an idiot. I really lost respect for The Motley Fool by letting such bogus articles be posted.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:45 PM, noebodysfool wrote:

    I have respected Motley Fool for insight for many years but nothing has alarmed me more about the clarity of the staff thinking than this article. I have not written a congressman in years but I think I am alarmed enough to do so tonight. This is my first post on Fool. I wish this was an April Fool.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:48 PM, PaulApp wrote:

    You got love Internet tax, because it will drive more sales to China online sites! Thank in part to your Congressmen!

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 10:56 PM, dudeman612 wrote:

    And what is there to love? Did I miss something? The 3 things listed are NOTHING worth loving.

    1. It will give brick and mortar new life.... Who says, first of all, that this is what everyone wants? Some people enjoy shopping in their undies at home without sales people pestering them, and dealing with pushy shoppers and long lines. Plus it is much easier to price compare multiple places online than to hop from one store to another.

    One thing they don't talk about in the "fairness" debate is the heavy shipping costs that online retailers have to deal with that brick and mortar does not. That alone pretty much offsets the "unfairness". And then b&m stores have a known location that people in the area are familiar with, so when they are out and about, stopping in is easy, and there are some products that people like to see in their hands before they purchase (like shoes for example).

    2. It will encourage innovation and competition? How? Do these big government, liberal shills not realize that forcing millions of small online businesses to deal with all the different state tax codes will discourage innovation? This horrible tax bill will hamper and destroy millions of small online businesses. The ones who will win are the big online retailers as a lot of their smaller competition gets run out of the market. This bill will stifle innovation and competition.

    3. It will bring in revenue!!! Oh weee! More revenue for an over inflated, wasteful government that is spending us into oblivion. It's like giving a gambling addict a no limits credit card that can be used at the casinos.... Spending needs to be cut and we need to starve the beast. Adding more revenue to the government is NOT a good thing.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:04 PM, ChiefDave44 wrote:

    Lie #1 additional tax on internet business doesn't do anything for Brick and Mortar business.

    Lie #2 Increases taxes stifles competition and inovation, it doesn't stimulate it. Ask any economist.

    Lie #3 Not exactly a lie, just a misdirection. Generating revenue doesn't sound bad, but raising taxes does, and they mean the same thing.

    All of the reasons given for loving this law are exactly the reasons for hating this law.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:07 PM, richsw54 wrote:

    I believe in most states when you do your tax return there is a question about your online purchases that you didn't pay taxes on. I'm thinking that most people on this forum put $0. That is tax evasion not a new tax.

    If you don't like the tax code in general, do something to change it, just don't be a lazy whiner.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:14 PM, altmd71 wrote:

    Maybe if brick and mortar local business would be more responsive to consumers and be a little more price competitive we wouldn't need a new law that is going to be an enforcement nightmare. Plus it will drive small internet retailers out of business. Bad law

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:17 PM, altmd71 wrote:

    Are our Foolish leaders becoming liberal/progressive? I don't like it. This is not capitalism, it is socialism.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:17 PM, mickeyfinn234 wrote:

    Using this logic is like hoping you get cancer so you learn to appreciate life.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:29 PM, Slone1322 wrote:

    I love how any time republican legislation comes out, it is automatically evil and racist. But when democrats do it, yahoo starts giving reasons why we should "love" it, completely ignoring the obvious reasons why it is a stupid and tax grabbing law. I don't trust any of you outlets, you're all talking point pushing liars.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:30 PM, ajs42548 wrote:

    It's not true that Best Buy and other chain stores pay sales tax in all 50 states. Not all states have a sales tax.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:40 PM, Snoopy2012 wrote:

    Same $h1t different a$$hole...Revenue = Tax increase

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:42 PM, heyjimi wrote:

    I am not getting the love part from this article. first off when you buy something on the internet,you have to pay for shipping...yeah yeah i know many offer free shipping,but do you really think its free? of course not.Now to use this morons article "best buy "as an example, over christmas i actually purchased a 55 inch lcd tv from best buy on the internet...they were cheaper than Amazon and even Walmart.

    second,you mention inovation"brick and mortar stores heres a thought how about better customer service ? just a thought.

    third point...the deficit sky rocketing ? STOP THE FRECKIN SPENDING !!!! thats how we been doing in my household,credit cards too high?stop using them.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:42 PM, KennnyF wrote:

    I seriously doubt that the bill in question will have the effects that this article states. Online shoppers are not going to go flocking back to brick and mortar in droves just because sales tax is collected. It's the bottom price (everything, including item price + shipping + tax, etc) that matters.

    Very often, the online sales price is lower than the brick and mortar price and that's without the sales tax. Add to that, if you purchase a minimum dollar amount online, the shipping is included for free. So, you've got a lower price and free shipping online versus a higher price plus your own transportation cost to the store. No shopping still wins. The only reason for the store trip is to showroom an item that really needs to be seen in person, like a TV.

    Let's not forget that the brick and mortar retailer cannot hold the same amount of inventory as an online warehouse can. If you go into a Best Buy store, they will often refer you to their own website because they don't carry the item in the store that you are seeking, but they have it online. So, unless you called ahead to make sure something was in stock, you lost gas money.

    Brick and mortar wholesalers like Costco still beat Best Buy prices and they have no sales tax advantage. I shop Costco warehouse and Costco online. Tax is collected both places and shipping often free. Costco beats Amazon on some items in their warehouse and online.

    The only way to attract someone to your store is to have the item in stock and beat anyone's bottom price which may or may not include tax and shipping.

    Very few stores do this...Bed Bath and Beyond is good at this. Use their 20% coupon and even with tax, you come out ahead of Amazon's price on some items. I can go to the BBB local store for pickup or it's free shipping over a certain dollar amount online. The usually give you one 20% online and one 20% store coupon per month. I bought a Dyson Handvac, Keurig Vue Brewer, and other stuff there using the coupons and the bottom price out the door was cheaper than Costco, Amazon, and anywhere else. Of course, that was only on select items, but that is what comparison shopping is for.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:46 PM, zxclem wrote:

    Another example of Gov't controlled media.

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:51 PM, jhpoland wrote:

    I would love to meet the Fool ..Or Usefull Idiot who wrote this at the behest of the Government ..Who as of the Obama Administration now Exists ONLY to find ways to raise Money to Waste on NEW ..unsustainable programs intended to buy Votes !!!

  • Report this Comment On May 08, 2013, at 11:58 PM, althebest wrote:

    It will generate $22 billion to $24 billion in annual revenue.

    then what ? states start giving more food stamps walfare to people next thing you know in 2 years we go back where we are today .

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 12:03 AM, jbtfsplk wrote:

    I guess if this passes, I'll just have to "offshore" all my purchases direct from China and cut out all the middlemen...

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 12:07 AM, ksteele36 wrote:

    What a pack of LIES! It's people like this that are the problem with this country. Here's my take:

    Reason No. 1: It will give brick-and-mortar retailers new life:

    A: BS, the only thing this is going to do is bring internet shop prices up... the problem with brick and mortar is they have been getting away with ridiculously over charging us for SO long that they don't even see the wrong in it any more. And now that internet sales are finally taking a foot hold they're in panic mode - well, boo hoo hoo, suck it up and cut your CEO's annual income in half and have one less party a year.

    Reason No. 2: It will encourage competition and innovation.

    A: Adding a tax to online sales will encourage competition ??? REALLY? WTF do you think is happening now, without it? Can anyone else here smell what this guy is shoveling? Really irritating that people think like this!

    Reason No. 3: It will generate $22 billion to $24 billion in annual revenue.

    A: 22 to 24 billion MORE dollars out of our pockets ANNUALLY.... so big government can have their annual salary raise, big budget bonuses and for what ??? We will never see that money again, just like the rest of their tax increases and fees.... next you're going to tell me without this tax you will shut down my kids school, or have less police and firemen in my neighborhood.... get a new line!

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 12:09 AM, runbot wrote:

    You know where the money goes? To FAILED public schools - UNIONS and BLOATED state pensions - UNIONS). Aren't you contributing ENOUGH?

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 12:10 AM, steveo888 wrote:

    What i want to no is if EBAY & Paypal will be able to keep a % like they do on shipping fees paid??

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 12:20 AM, TYPEONEGATIVE wrote:

    1- No, it won't

    2- No, it won't

    3- What happens every time new revenue is created? They find more ways to blow it.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 12:26 AM, wteigen wrote:

    I am still trying to figure out how state and local level taxes are going to reduce the federal deficit.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 12:28 AM, bobhop wrote:

    I don't think this will help the brick and motars much. Personally, I don't even consider the price difference between on line vs in store. My main concerns are convenience and availability.

    It is far more convenient for me to shop on line and avoid the hassle of traveling to the store. If I'm in the store, it's because I need something NOW or it was sold out on line and I don't want to wait.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 1:06 AM, dsliesse wrote:

    As with every article I've read about this, people don't seem to understand that this is NOT a new tax. If you live in any of the 45 states with a sales tax, you ALREADY owe tax on every single one of your Internet purchases (it's called use tax, but the rate is exactly the same as the sales tax). If people had been paying this tax as required all along, the whole issue never would have come up.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 1:08 AM, snjpage1 wrote:

    The story writer was doing OK until he got to the end. The tax doesnt go to the Fed's , it goes to the states. Passing this bill isnt going to lower the debt like he said.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 1:25 AM, waclark57 wrote:

    Best Buy has stores in all 50 states; therefore it pays taxes in, you guessed it, 50 states.

    Buzzz...oh I am so sorry but this is not the correct answer. The correct answer is 45 states as 5 states do NOT collect sales tax.

    Now what I want to know is for those states that do not collect sales tax will they also have to collect sales tax now based on the home residence of the purchaser? What about Internet companies based on those non-sales tax states? Will they have to collect state taxes based on where the purchaser lives?

    Also, if I make a purchase in a brick and mortar store in New York will I get taxed at the NY rate or my home state's tax rate which is much lower?

    This law is STUPID, period. It is in no way "fair" and it will not help brick and mortar businesses. Best Buy will still lose business to Internet companies that can sell products more cheaply due to much lower overhead cost (no sales clerks and no stores to maintain).

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 1:44 AM, ck63 wrote:

    I don't completely agree with reasons 1 & 2 but three? Are you people out of your minds!! The last thing the government needs more of is our tax money!! These IDIOTS are fiscally irresponsible!

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 2:33 AM, antsofthesky wrote:

    WOW. Reasons to Love Taxes? That's like writing an article on reasons to love slavery.

    Competition? HA -- Yeah, its called the internet and it mopped up brick & mortar. That's competition. In with the new and out with the old. This is just further proof that this site is actually foolish and that anything with 'tax' in its title is actually a competition killer.

    Like they say: "I don't give up anybody who wasn't already going down."

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 2:44 AM, farckle2 wrote:

    the person who wrote this is a moron. who in their right mind would love to pay taxes on our online purchases.

    freaking government sucks. they do nothing for us Americans.

    they get paid way too much money

    they also do not have to pay into social security

    they also pay nothing for their medical insurance and they get the best insurance coverage.

    and let's not forget what they get paid for their pension once they retire


    i say let's take away all of the above and let them live the rest of us.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 3:18 AM, abierce121 wrote:

    This is state tax money. None of it is going to Uncle Sam or the federal deficit.

    States should collect their own taxes from their own citizens. They shouldn't try to force citizens of other states to collect it for them.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 5:10 AM, tagbf2 wrote:

    Hmm, those are the three reasons I don't want the bill to pass!

    1) brick and mortar stores have a huge advantage in shipping charges over e-tailers. The playing field is even.

    2) since when has regulation and taking money out of a system advanced innovation? A: Never

    3) I am tired of "feeding the pig" that is the US government. By not enabling their habits, making the government "innovate or die", as any company must, we are only delaying doom.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 6:29 AM, hankt4 wrote:

    I am a member of Motley Fool, but will not renew my membership.

    This is the second article I have read saying the internet sale tax would be a good thing.

    Let's look at the retailers who are supporitng this tax, Walmart, Home Depot and the likes who were accused of predatory practices which destroyed Mom and Pop retailers.

    I live In MA and if you don't know they have used my tax money to support terrorists and their families for the last 10 years.


    Sean I can not believe you believe this dribble.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 7:09 AM, dmichael66 wrote:

    What a crock of crap. The $24 B in revenue wont be going to the federal government - it will go to the l taxing jurisdiction so to throw that in against the topic of the deficit is simply moronic.

    This will actually be bad for businesses. In order to keep the books to collect taxes for all the states is going to cost a business money in additional labor or other support and reduce their bottom line so how tell me again how this is a good thing ?

    It will save the brick and mortar stores ? No it won't. The fact is the B&M stores usually can't compete on price against an internet stores anyway tax issue aside so that is just a red herring. I am the king of internet shopping. Rarely can a B&M store beat an internet price which is why more often than not I buy online. Saving the tax is just icing on the cake.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 7:37 AM, plmask wrote:

    Three letters; LOL

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 7:58 AM, gitarfan wrote:

    Another tax and spend liberal talking about "fairness" and over-estimating the revenue. These children will never learn.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 8:09 AM, blackstrat wrote:

    This will generate up to 24 billion? This country is trillions in the hole now, and once 2014, rolls around, it will increase... Anybody who thinks this will do a lick of good, is a moron.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 8:34 AM, jf2mad wrote:

    LOVE it? Who's the fool?


    1: Everybody loves paying MORE TAXES!

    2: Put MORE of our money in the hands of GREEDY politicians so they can spend it buying more votes by giving it to people who respond to government handouts by perpetuating a system of handouts by voting for ...omigod I'm getting dizzy!

    3: Compensate the evil imbalance that online retailers have over "brick and mortar" retailers and encourage competition? How the HELL is making the consumer pay more ENCOURAGING to competition? The only thing it is encouraging if the political contributions by the very "brick and mortar" special interests that it benefits. Can you say BRIBERY?

    It never ends. The governent find new ways to generate money from We the People and slathers the money grab with a thin veneer of faux righteousness and patriotism to fool us.

    I guess the Fool is benefitting from promoting this theft by extortion in some way, they sure seem to love it.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 9:08 AM, cmrk3 wrote:

    It seems to me that if you are going to have sales taxes you might as well enforce them. It's silly to ask the question "Did you buy anything out of state without paying sales tax?" on the state tax form and not give anybody the tools to determine how much tax they must figure in. Just like the lottery is a tax on stupid people, this is a tax on the super detailed organized anal people who keep all their sales reciepts and can figure out how much they owe. Perhaps we shouldn't have to pay sales tax, but if we do, then it should be enforced across the board and not force everyone to lie or have to be super organized.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 9:44 AM, dsf56ewq wrote:

    I hate to see the term "revenue" used to describe taxes. Our governments do not generate revenue, they collect taxes.

    Additionally, how is providing states extra tax money going to address the federal budget?

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 9:45 AM, harold43702 wrote:

    This is a total bulls*#t article. This first and foremost just another way for the government to grab more money from the public. The so called brick and mortar is what divid the American people from its political jailers. After taxes for the sales is passed they will be followed by e-mail taxing for the postal service, text messaging tax for the telephone companies, educational tax for schools, etc. It is the start of something that is not broken but big brother is going to fix it. Aren’t you people tired of taxes yet?

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 10:24 AM, PJRippenbocker wrote:

    I think most commentators on here are the fools. This is not a new tax, this is simply having states enforce collection of an already existing tax at the point of sale. How many of you that purchased items online and were not taxed at the point of sale reported the purchase when you filed taxes? My guess is few to none. Everyone is crying unfair now that they can't get away with not paying their taxes.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 10:26 AM, vacman123 wrote:

    The tax is not a new tax, u are required to pay the sales tax from out of state purchases anyhow, at years end,unless u are a crook nothing has changed, I own a small business and am thrilled of this evening of the playing field

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 10:26 AM, japohl wrote:

    Yes and if you love this, you will love Obamacare as well. Maybe the taxes generated from this will help fund the ACA. I was reading on that obamacare is going to end up costing 3.2 trillion over the next 10 years...more than if we did nothing

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 10:45 AM, d16y7 wrote:

    this article is complete garbage. Just another piece of bull#$% legislation to take money out of our pockets and into the hands of greedy and evil politicians. Best Buy wont succeed because of a internet tax bill, that's foolish. Buying the same product online at Amazon w/ tax is still cheaper then getting it at a best buy. This article is to feed positives about a bill that will do no good but make hardworking middle class people spend more money. The 24 billion thats generated will go to projects and operations we'll know nothing about. Just wait for the 5 trillion added to the US debt after this immigration bill is passed.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 11:08 AM, garysund wrote:

    My opinion is the only big winner in this are the states. I don't believe that the Brick-and-Mortar will gain that much ground. You can still search the internet to find a lower price and if they offer free shipping and handling that will be the winner. Amazon being so huge it has the ability to adjust prices to absorb the state sales tax. The bottom line is I will still buy on internet sites. For me even if I have to pay for shipping I would still buy because I love it getting delivered right to my door. I hate to go out and shop.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 11:13 AM, RIGDUM wrote:

    what a joke. the "advantages" are: it will help your competitors; it will spur competition and/or innovation; and you can pay more taxes to our poor starving public sector that now takes 40% of our GDP. In fact, it will raise prices for everybody, not increase competition, and take more of your money to be wasted by the government.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 11:57 AM, NobodysFool2013 wrote:

    I for one will be boycotting Amazon and other retailers who supported this bill if it passes.

    As for Best Buy, who in their right mind would shop in that lousy store? Sure, pay full retail for that new video game or CD when you can get it for half the price online. Plus you don't have to waste the gas or time AND there is better selection online.

    Not sure what this cry of "showrooming" is but last time I checked, Best Buys is a showroom for electronics. What do they think, every person who walks in is supposed to buy something? .Haven't been in a Best Buy in almost 10 years but most times I went in there, they had limited brands and awkward pricing models. Sales people more concerned with selling you an extended warranty.

    For most people, shopping online is a convenience, especially for people who live in rural areas, such as myself where the nearest Best Buy is 50 miles away, closest Walmart is 25 miles.

    If Best Buy is crying, maybe they should rethink their business model that put countless mom&pop electronics stores out of business nationwide. No sympathy for these corporate mega stores.

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 12:06 PM, BlondeBoy51448 wrote:

    There are no good reasons for the tax with parity being the weakest of all. Online stores sell products for less for a reason...they don't have to support the enormous cost of brick and mortar and everything under that roof. Maybe those that are suffering should figure that out and change their footprint.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 1:48 AM, pedorrero wrote:

    I'm no legal scholar, but it seems to me a central issue (if this silly bill passes) is: Does State A have the authority to regulate (or tax) business in State B? I don't think they do. But, and here is the important thing: you're damned right the Feds can (tax at least!). If we are going to tax, it should be at a flat rate (perhaps the highest State rate--maybe 10%). This would even the playing field: the interstate tax would = the highest State tax and --important for business -- would be much simpler to compute than the thousands of local taxes.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 2:01 AM, pettycl01 wrote:

    If they would stop giving millions and billions of our money to oversea countries, they wouldn't have keep adding taxes to everything we buy. And our debts would be balanced.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 8:11 AM, QuantumDoctor wrote:

    No more regressive taxes. Where is your promotion of the Wall Street Sales Tax?

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 9:12 AM, rdub76 wrote:

    This legislation like all other legislation is just another attempt by big government and its cronies to use their power to hold back innovators so the old donors don't have to do any work to keep up with innovators. Our government should cut its spending habit instead of finding new ways to extract more money from hard working Americans.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 2:38 PM, TMFVicki wrote:

    Reason #4 for those who live in California. California has a thing called "use tax". This means that if you buy it, then use it in California, you owe them the sales tax (even if you purchased it from Amazon or other internet or catalog sales).

    It is a lot easier to just have Amazon collect the tax and send it to the state. For me, at least, the "real" amount due is much less than what the government would estimate if I just used their tax table.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 2:54 AM, Realexpectations wrote:

    When I bought my tv off amazon it was for 520$

    BBY: 780$

    for the SAME TV

    sales tax wouldnt have done a thing to change my mind

    plus the service at BBY is


    Thats not even comparing it.

    Even if the price was higher at amazon

    I would still buy from there, they actually give me service and dont hassle me.

  • Report this Comment On May 11, 2013, at 3:27 PM, Stoplaying wrote:

    This is not good,we already pay shipping and handling but since that doesn't go directly to the government it's not good enough.

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