Comments about ‘Letters: Internet sales tax’

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Published: Friday, May 3 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

The sales tax is a tax upon the poor and middle class. Our politicians have yet to find a tax on the poor and middle class which they did not like. They also have yet to find a tax to levy upon the rich. Probably because they themselves are rich and serve their top campaign contributors.

Far East USA, SC

Mr Cole,

Are you aware that by law you are already required to pay sales tax on all of your internet purchases?

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

You already pay sales tax when you buy on line.

Omaha, NE

@ Joe Blow and George

Buyers do not always pay sales tax on all of their internet purchases. The law currently is that online companies do not have to charge sales tax unless the company has a physical store inside the state.

Some companies may choose to collect sales tax, but the majority of U.S. purchases online do not include sales tax.

Far East USA, SC

"Some companies may choose to collect sales tax, but the majority of U.S. purchases online do not include sales tax."

I do not dispute that. However, Utah Law (as in many states) requires that people submit sales tax for their out of state purchases.

Just because companies do not collect it, does not mean it is not owed.

Omaha, NE

@ Joe Blow

Thanks for the clarification. I was not aware of that. :)

Baron Scarpia
Logan, UT

It is interesting to note that rural communities often are the most expensive for states to serve. For example, developing power lines, water facilities, roads, ambulance, fire protection, schools, etc. all have to be paid through taxes for residents in rural areas where the actual revenues to serve these areas are typically subsidized by people living in more urban communities.

While I can sympathize that paying taxes is a nuisance, our nation was built on taxes. And all the infrastructure in rural communities were developed via taxes, largely paid by someone else.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Call your rural congressman, they will grant you a farm subsidy.


Amazon already charges tax on most purchases and supports taxing internet sales.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Sales tax is unfair, inadequate, inefficient and a very bad way to finance government.

Any tax collected at the state level will probably not be distributed to the city and county where the purchaser resides.

All consumption is not taxed.

Stores collect more tax than is remitted to the government. They claim the surplus as a fee for doing the government’s job.

Sales tax provides business with a tool to blackmail cities and towns and even states for favors if the business would relocate.

The proper way to support government would be by a flat rate personal income tax with no exceptions and no exemptions.

Universally collected on every income throughout the USA, this would eliminate the ability of rich people and businesses to blackmail local governments.

The tax should be collected according to business location but distributed according to population.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

states that charge a use tax do so contrary to the US constitution, which proscribes sgtates from placing levies on interstate commerce.

Maverick, actually bush's tax cuts cut rates for the low and middle income folk more than for wealthy folks. BO's restoration of the SS tax rate hits the poor moreso than the wealthy.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

The filthy rich 1% don't pay sales tax [their CPAs find ways of purchasing everything tax-exempt],

This is only yet another tax on the 47% who Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP think don't pay ANY taxes.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The current law as established by the Supreme Court says that if a company does not have a physical presence in a state they are not required to charge sales tax and I agree with that. However, if you're going to require online sellers to charge a sales tax I don't understand why they wouldn't be collected for the tax entity where the seller resides and not the buyer. It seems that would simplify things and at least provide incentive for low sales tax rates (by encouraging online sellers to operate in low tax jurisdictions) If I go to CA and buy a product I pay sales tax there and not in Ut so I don't understand why if I buy online from a seller in CA I would pay sales tax in UT.

Brigham City, UT

Seems its always about the rich and the poor. "A house divided..."

North Salt Lake, UT

Sales tax on internet sales would not balance the playing field. The savings in sales tax simply offsets the shipping charges. Charges you don't pay at a brick and mortar store.

I have never paid sales tax on items purchaed through Amazon and I have made hundreds of purchases through them.

The only fair tax is a sales tax, if there were a national sales tax instead of the ,far too complex, income tax, everyone that makes a purchase would have to pay their fair share. It could be tailored to tax luxury items more than essentials, thereby taxing the wealthy more.

Income tax, even a flat tax has to have deductions for business operating costs and that makes loop holes for the wealthy owners. You cannot get away from that.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If sales tax is determined by the purchase price, how can sales tax be fair method for calculating an Americans share of the cost of government?

If a Utahn was to purchase the set of identical goods and services from Utah businesses and a Californian purchased the same set of goods and services from California businesses, would the purchase amount and the sales tax be the same? Probably not. It is most unlikely that businessmen in this country would accept a single fixed price for an article throughout the USA.

People should share in the cost of their government according to the benefits they receive, without the ability to measure the true benefit of each citizen, some of us believe that personal income is the best measure of that benefit.
Consider that every dollar paid out from a business, for every purpose, to every person involved in bringing something to that business is personal income to somebody, somewhere on this earth. If we apply the flat rate to that amount, we are applying the flat rate income tax to every worker, every owner, everywhere in the world, involved in that particular business.

Salt Lake City, UT

So basically you want a handout for living far away from stores?

Murray, UT

@Baron Scarpia,

Rural areas don't get public transportation services, and other urban programs. Seems to me it balances out in the end. Besides, the rural areas are generally farming areas, filling a basic need we all have, called food. Like it or not, the rural area inhabitants/workers are essential to the city dwellers.

@ all you liberals who fuel the various forms or social warfare:

Finding yet another way to divide ourselves from each other just sinks the boat we are all in together. I find no sense in that. Do you?

North Salt Lake, UT

Ultra Liberal Bob,
"People should share in the cost of their government according to the benefits they receive,"
I did not say it was perfect, but the problems you cite already exist and way more. A pay as you go tax would be the most fair and could be tailored, like I said. I can't put all of the answers in this forum, but I am sure it could be worked out. It would be better, if for no other reason than, there would be less people to audit. (businesses only)


The Bush tax cuts:

"The average tax cut that people making over $1 million received exceeded $110,000 in each of the last nine years — for a total of more than $1 million over this period.
The tax cuts made the tax system less progressive. In each of the nine years from 2004 through 2012, the tax cuts increased the after-tax income of the highest-income taxpayers by a far larger percentage than they did for middle- and low-income taxpayers. For example, in 2010, the year in which all of the Bush income and estate tax cuts were fully phased in, they increased the after-tax income of people making over $1 million by more than 7.3 percent, but increased the after-tax income of the middle 20 percent of households by just 2.8 percent."
(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

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