subscriber rvalens2 - Burley, ID has it right. The collection for sales tax
should be in the state making the product. Think about it. Sales tax in Utah
is used primarily to fund social services, executive offices and criminal
justice system, infrastructure, general government and higher education.
[Source: www.utahtaxpayers.org] Why does the consumer state need tax for social
services, executive offices and criminal justice system or higher education?
That is just NUTS! And as for the infrastructure, for the most part, it takes
place in the locale that is making, producing a product. People drive to work
there, the business uses utilities there, etc. (and apparently need social
services to cope with work.) Come on! The only real "consumption" of
these things in the consumer state is transportation. So add more sales tax
there if you must. But the concept of sales tax on online purchases makes
little sense and other than greed for more taxes is unjustified.
Sales tax up from four to around seven percent in my time in Utah. Shameful.So now, instead of buying from Amazon, we are pushed into supporting
local businesses a bit more, since we will find the local business closer at
hand and both businesses are charging, as we may suppose, the same sales tax.I can imagine the scenario: you go to the local business and find, in
many cases, they don't have what you want but they "will get it for
you" - in about a week. Then the business sends for it, it may well be to
Amazon as they usually have a competitive price, get the desired product for
which they are charged the price of the product plus the sales tax. They mark
it up to make their profit and charge the sales tax a second time to comply with
Utah law. So the customer waits longer, and pays more for the product, and
additionally pays the sales tax twice. Think about it; it may happen to you.
We have ENOUGH taxes! How much more are we gonna stand? A nickel here, a quarter
there, after a while it adds up.AND what about Amazon getting part of my
taxes? I guess that was Utah's incentive to collect taxes. Way to go
Governor and Tax Commission. Really working for the people.
This is the 4th story on this, and each time, the facts have been different. The
DesNews ought to explain why. Otherwise, it seems like lazy reporting at
minimum. But I do think that the paper should engage in journalism rather than
serve as a news organ for the power structure. The people would be better
served. We really need to know what goes on. Isn't that the purpose of
It has actually been real nice to not have to pay state taxes for the majority
of the websites I shop at online but I can see and have thought for some time
that this was going to come to a end in Utah. I buy a lot of expensive DVD
sets and video games online and saving a few bucks by not having to pay taxes
has always been wonderful and allowed me to spend more. Probably won't
spend as much there when this law goes into effect.
So, was the news reporting that Amazon was going to keep 18% of the Utah sales
tax they collected "fake news" or sloppy reporting, or misinformation
planted by some bureaucrat or politician?1.31% sounds like about the
paltry sum the state allows in-state business to keep for the pleasure of
collecting sales tax. Frankly for a business only doing business in state, it
is not too hard to do the paperwork, and some sort of kickback is a good
incentive.For a company selling to multiple states and taxing
jurisdictions, the complexity of collecting and remitting different amounts to
each of them is a horrendously complex problem. Someone the size of Amazon has
the infrastructure to program their systems to do all that, with a start up cost
of probably hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you are keeping 18% of the
taxes collected that is a new revenue stream on every sale, tiny as a percentage
but adding up to real money on $10 millions of sales. Even 1.31% will add up
to a nice profit margin over time.Now, for a small business to try
to do it, the would be buried by the complexity and not even 50% commission
would justify the work.
Just greed by the state so they can spend more. I make less then 8 years ago and
am taxes more every year . The state city and county needs to go on a diet
The Constitution states that I do not have to pay taxes on out-of-state sales
when there is no physical presence of that company in my state. So, how is it
legal for Amazon to charge taxes on my purchases?Again, most of us
don't mind paying taxes on our purchases. We just think this deal is
highly suspicious coming after Herbert is safely elected, and he having said
nothing about it during his campaign.
Amazon actually supports efforts by states to collect the unconstitutional sales
tax on interstate commerce. (The constitution prohibits the states from taxing
exports from one state to another.)Why do they support it?Just imagine what it would be like for a small company to collect sales taxes
for every state and local government. A twinky is food in one area and candy in
another and they are taxed differently. There are thousands of taxing districts
just in the state of Washington where I live.How would you like to have to
file state sales tax reports to all 50 states and half their counties? Oh, and
you have no employees.It is an impossible task. Amazon
has the software infrastructure to do all of this for all their sellers. If the
states get their wish and they can force all businesses to collect and pay sales
taxes on interstate commerce, they will be forced to sell through Amazon.Anti Trust anyone?
Why is government action of this type a secret?The people have a right to
know what their government is doing.
Reading between the lines, it sounds to me like Amazon is about to do something
that will give them a presence in the state of Utah and this sales tax piece was
just part of a larger negotiation. It could be that Amazon traded the 18% for
some other kind of incentive--probably favorable tax treatment as incentive for
building a facility here. What other reason could there be for a
rational, self-interested company to forego the 18% they were entitled to by
law?At the risk of starting a rumor based on nothing more than pure
speculation, I believe that there will be an AWS (Amazon Web Services) data and
engineering center that will eventually be built on the current state prison
property. Remember, you heard it here first folks...
This isn't a tax increase. You are already supposed to be
paying Use Tax for everything you buy on Amazon. If you haven't been
paying then you have, at least technically, been breaking the law, whether
anyone has come after you for doing so or not.Personally I'm
happy to have the sales tax charged when I buy something on Amazon rather than
having to go over every purchase I've made over the year so that I pay the
proper Use Tax when I file my income tax.
This is like the 3rd article on this evolving story in 2 days. What's
going on? Is there heat? Are you trying to rationalize or cover up for the
Governor? This is curious.
I have a solution for the state sales tax issue.Have the sales tax
collected in the state, city or jurisdiction in which the company resides. (Some
states allow local sales tax options.) After all, it can be argued that no sale
has occurred until the money crosses the vendor's state border. In other
words, the sale is actually consummated in the vendor's state not the
buyer's state.The above idea would simplify the whole matter
and put pressure on states to keep their sales taxes low. And it would make it
easy for every company – large or small – to comply with sales taxes
because sales taxes would become a local issue – not an interstate one.
Wait a minute...The state can't discuss a deal that potentially
affects every resident in Utah?! "Move along folks, nothing to
see here." Business as usual in the state government.
Another suggestion--Some of our government watchdogs (the news media)
should file a GRAMA request to make the 'agreement' public for
everyone to see. Otherwise a court order stopping the agreement until the Tax
Commission provides copies of the agreement.We just want to know 'the
rest of the story'. The Tax Commission is beating around the bush with
'we got permission from Amazon to say they didn't take the
incentive'. Sorry. There is something there-we just haven't been
told what it is.
Now this 'deal' really smells!!!!!The public is entitled
to know what the agreement really includes.Amazon is getting something
more than 1.31% on this deal. What is it?
That's not very presidential, to not give them millions in tax breaks.