Seeking Alpha

By a 75-24 margin, the Senate has passed a non-binding vote of approval for a bill allowing...

By a 75-24 margin, the Senate has passed a non-binding vote of approval for a bill allowing states to collect sales taxes from online retailers with $1M+  in annual sales and no presence within a given state's borders. The margin of victory suggests a filibuster shouldn't be a problem when a binding vote is made. Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY) have already begun collecting in a number of large states, and many investors have already assumed collections will expand in time. (previous)
Comments (53)
  • finaly
    24 Mar 2013, 03:43 PM Reply Like
  • I live in Oregon and we have no sales tax. So no!! to more taxes!! enough taxes already.
    24 Mar 2013, 03:54 PM Reply Like
  • "Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, argued against the amendment, saying it would encourage U.S. Internet sellers to move overseas, where it's tougher for states to collect sales taxes. "The Internet is now the shipping lane of the 21st century, and foreign retailers are going to get an advantage," he said."


    Wyden has a good point. However, COGs, income tax and other taxes in Oregon are high compared to other states. Surprisingly though, your neighbor, Idaho, is ranked 13 on net tax burden to residents. Pretty soon we will not have any state advantages, with the Federal steamrolling of the 10th Amendment, completely.
    24 Mar 2013, 04:12 PM Reply Like
  • The criminals steal more of our money. Wonderful
    24 Mar 2013, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • It figures... Just one more example the direction this country has been going in over the past 50 years and where its going in the future..Deplorable, disgusting, and despicable....Obamination at its best....@#$%^& the middle class..Period..End of story..'Nuff said!!
    24 Mar 2013, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • So, your local brick and mortar should not be allowed to charge sales tax? State and counties need money from somewhere to maintain highways, police, fire etc...brick and mortars have been suffering due to the very unfair internet competition that charges no sales tax..this levels the playing field, although of course, the internet stores don't have as much building expense.
    24 Mar 2013, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • State & local municipalities do nothing but piss private employee
    24 Mar 2013, 04:46 PM Reply Like
  • Obama is the middle class's best friend and if you don't understand that then you have been listening to the wrong folks.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:16 PM Reply Like
  • You are living in Obama's fantasy land if you think Obama is the best friend of the middle class. In the real world his policies and agenda are hurting the middle class.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • Brad...... I don't live in anyone's fantasy land except mine. Look at the stock market during Obama's tenure and then tell me if I am in fantasy land. And btw, look at the market during Clinton. Do you not get it? What is it about making money that you don't understand?
    24 Mar 2013, 06:40 PM Reply Like
  • Let me ask you this, how many of the 46 million people on food stamps do you think are investing in the stock market? If over 10% of the population needs assistance just to buy food, there is no way they can afford to be buying stocks, so a rising stock market does not help them at all!
    24 Mar 2013, 06:47 PM Reply Like
  • And, Brad, who do you think is responsible for the 10% being on food stamps? The rules have NOT been changed in the last decade. Money that I make as an upper middle class person does trickle down to not only the lower but upper class folks. A bit different when the super rich keep getting wildly richer and deploy money offshore.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • Not talking about the rich or upper middle class, we are talking about average people having to pay more for goods purchased on a website like Amazon.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:56 PM Reply Like
  • You are apparently very naive and don't understand Eco 101. Every dollar I spend is in the US and it trickles down and up and the middle class has more dollars than they did when Obama took office.


    And as an x- retailer with multiple brick and mortar stores I can assure that this law will begin to level the playing field. It is way overdue and local and state governments have lost billions in tax dollars to tax free Internet purchases. How they spend the money is a different subject.
    24 Mar 2013, 07:03 PM Reply Like
  • I dont appreciate you calling me naive, I have a Bachelors degree in business and economics, I know what I'm talking about. I prefer to back up my claims with actual sources:


    Using data from the Census Bureau:


    Real Median Household Income 2008: $54,349
    Real Median Household Income 2011: $50,502


    Data for 2012 will be released in Sep 2013.


    Last time I did math, $50 Thousand is less than $54 thousand, so when you say "middle class has more dollars than they did when Obama took office." You are WRONG!!

    24 Mar 2013, 07:34 PM Reply Like
  • The question is WHY is median income down? Obama policies or his predecessor? How long did it take the predecessor to destroy the budget surplus? If the middle class invested in equities, they are better off than they were in 2008. Look at the numbers that i am sure your degree helped you foster the notion of 100% increase since Obama took office. And I don't appreciate you calling me "living in a fantasy land". If you hadn't said that no discussion would have occurred.


    Btw, if you are so anti tax and live in Oregon, move across the river to Vancouver WA and pay no state income tax and shop in Portland where there is no sales tax. No problem.


    And you are WRONG and you know it.
    24 Mar 2013, 07:47 PM Reply Like
  • For example...
    24 Mar 2013, 08:01 PM Reply Like
  • Income drop IMHO is due to outsourcing, off-shoring (BOTH Dems and Repubs let this happen) and automation of jobs that is occurring worldwide, due to technology advances (robots). Global access to business resources (e.g., xrays being read at 1/10th the cost in India) is driving wages down. Some of this we could do little to stop, other than not having stupid tax incentives for companies to move offshore, and by not being very aggressive in funding startups with incentives to develop in new, higher paying job areas like stem cell, solar etc...due to religious and political reasons we gave away those markets. Our democracy, which served us well up until a couple of decades ago, cannot compete against countries whose governments provide incentives and subsidies to capture markets. Many on the right call that socialism here, and so, we fall further and further behind the rest of the world. And, don't even get me started on the uneven world playing field we face with our very very expensive health care system (so much for free market). In the end, with automation, the world must face the fact that we must gradually reduce the work week if we want "full" employment. And they must be paid (what the rich don't realize is that all their consumers are going away).
    24 Mar 2013, 08:10 PM Reply Like
  • Stop blaming Bush, this is Obama's economy!!! Bush stopped being president 5 years ago!
    24 Mar 2013, 08:40 PM Reply Like
  • this isn't about Obama people... it's about online retailers having an unfair competitive advantage over traditional brick and mortar retailers. it was an anomaly the stemmed from technology developing faster than our laws did. this just levels the playing field.
    24 Mar 2013, 08:41 PM Reply Like
  • Not blaming, just providing the real truth. You think within 4-5 years we can replace a 12t dollar equity loss? I agree with Matt above, this is not about Obama, until someone made it out to be.
    24 Mar 2013, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • Matt,


    I looked at your business site. What a great idea. I hope this time of year you can set up inside.
    24 Mar 2013, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • By the time Obama gets out of office he will double what the national debt was when he took office of $10 Billion, and the CBO projects $20 trillion by the end of his term. So Obama will have accounted for the same amount of debt, as every other president combined.

    24 Mar 2013, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • Is this why under his administration this year he has the lowest gov't debt vs. discretionary expenses? Is it his fault that a lot of us are getting older thus surging non-discretionary costs? We had a surplus in 2000. What happened?


    BTW, your links are not impressive based on what this country went through from 2008-early 2009. Put into perspective!
    24 Mar 2013, 09:51 PM Reply Like
  • Why aren't you answering my relevant questions? I am answering yours. You're just going to another right-wing sound bite.
    24 Mar 2013, 09:57 PM Reply Like
  • What question did you have? I didn't see any.
    24 Mar 2013, 10:31 PM Reply Like
  • Look at the ? marks.
    24 Mar 2013, 10:44 PM Reply Like
  • Well I do agree with you on one point, demographics are working against the budget. I just don't agree with how Obama has handled it.
    24 Mar 2013, 10:48 PM Reply Like
  • If you think a major screwup like two Bush terms can be fixed in a few years, then you are indeed naive. I'm not an American, but from what I can tell from abroad the policies Obama has been pushing for are better in the long run. He's had to deal with a lot of legacy from Bush (some wars for example, that do take a big toll on the budget) and that isn't fixed in a few years. The benefits do trickle down to everyone in the end, but they take a lot of time to go through. Also, policy implementation isn't something a single person can do even if he's POTUS. Not sure how the house stands for you guys right now, but I'd guess he doesn't have an overwhelming majority that could help implement all of the policy changes he'd like.


    And I wouldn't consider a bachelor degree something to shout out too much. I've got a PhD in fundamental physics and the bachelor is something we do consider an interim step that people have learned the very basics of higher education and may or may not start to get insights when they specialize and start a master's degree. It's not even considered a real scientific degree in most of EU, just a qualification for graduate studies.
    25 Mar 2013, 03:44 AM Reply Like
  • A "bachelors degree in business and economics"? Gee wiz
    25 Mar 2013, 07:56 AM Reply Like
  • I don't appreciate your tone when you say "I wouldn't consider a bachelor degree something to shout out too much." I worked my ass off to earn my degree!!


    Also when you say "WE do consider an interim step that people have learned the very basics of higher education and may or may not start to get insights when they specialize and start a master's degree."


    You and your "WE" can take your ELITE mentally, and shove it, and stay out of America and don't try to lecture me!!
    25 Mar 2013, 10:41 AM Reply Like
  • *Mentality
    25 Mar 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • This is NOT a NEW tax. If you live in a state that charges sales tax and you buy something online and don't pay sales tax, you are REQUIRED by law to file the purchase on your tax return and pay USE tax to the state. The problem is, 99% of the people never report USE tax on their returns. Therefore, this is just a better method for the state to collect the tax that 99% of you are illegally not paying. I am a die-hard republican and hate the idea of "new" or "increased" taxes. This is NOT a new tax, but just a better collection method. Also, for all you people complaining about this, maybe you will be happy when you walk down Main Street and the only people in the stores are junkies and homeless people.
    25 Mar 2013, 05:34 PM Reply Like
  • Thanks Herbert! It's a very small operation haha but it's a nice side job. I don't mess with setting it up this time of year. The season kicks off in April.
    25 Mar 2013, 08:31 PM Reply Like
  • Socialism works until you run out of other peoples money so said Margret Thatcher.


    Tax man is a cometh and will continue to a cometh.
    24 Mar 2013, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • The legal issue is this: how can the Federal government force a state to compel retailers/citizens of another state to collect its taxes? This is a 10th Amendment issue (interstate vs. intrastate commerce).
    24 Mar 2013, 05:00 PM Reply Like
  • I just learned today that the US Embassy in Bagdad has 10,000 - that's ten thousand ! employees. A little sales tax increase is nothing compared to what the Feds need to run their show !! A long as all levels of government can get their hands on other peoples money they will continue to grow. Just remember somebody voted these guys and gals into office - maybe you and me ?!?!
    24 Mar 2013, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • If you are what your tag name is "pre-boomer", your generation has done quite well from gov't bennies. Gov't does require funding and yes there is tremendous amount of waste that needs to be cut but don't cut the stuff I paid for all my life, nor cut post-bomber paid for bennies. Just solve the problems! A bit naive as the 2 parties are so opposite an EVERY issue. What a feeble game. .
    24 Mar 2013, 06:28 PM Reply Like
  • Thomas Jefferson:
    * I think myself that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:06 PM Reply Like
  • He may have been a brilliant man be he benefitted from living on the labor of slaves. He was not an astute financial guy as he died owing more than he owned. Even with the labor.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:19 PM Reply Like
  • I hear that the Dummycrats are working on a tax on sex......stay tuned......
    24 Mar 2013, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • I hear the repulifunks are working on eliminating sex.... Stay tuned.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:44 PM Reply Like
  • Um, the ban will only apply to you and your mother.....but there's bi-partisan support for that, lol.
    24 Mar 2013, 11:16 PM Reply Like
  • A non-binding vote. Yeah, that's why I send my senators to Washington. They can't pass a budget as required by law, but they sure as hell can pass a non-binding resolution.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:26 PM Reply Like
  • When you put foxes in charge of guarding the hen house what do you actually expect?


    The question is not where does it stop? but rather where did it start? Pull out your history books and find the answer.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • 1932.
    24 Mar 2013, 06:59 PM Reply Like
  • Reading some these comments has taxed my patience.
    24 Mar 2013, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • Conservatives always clamed little people pay low taxes,so this new bill/tax gets the Republican vote.
    24 Mar 2013, 10:14 PM Reply Like
  • Whether or not there should be a sales tax is a separate argument. However, as long as we are going to have a sales tax, no company should be exempt from paying them especially when this just hurts local businesses. This would hurt me personally since I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon but I would be glad to pay more in the interests of a rational taxing policy.
    24 Mar 2013, 11:45 PM Reply Like
  • You do realize that you are legally responsible to pay those sales taxes anyways, right? Amazon was kind enough to send everyone a total amount this year, to make filing your taxes easier.
    25 Mar 2013, 08:26 AM Reply Like
  • even Honest Abe ignored that Amazon memo... and Pinocchio filed taxes and his nose didn't grow! no one knows that they are supposed to pay taxes on amazon purchases and no one does. this law will solve that problem.
    25 Mar 2013, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • "No one knows..."


    <wink, wink>
    25 Mar 2013, 09:16 PM Reply Like
  • Personally, it doesn't matter to me. I think it is only fair that (AMZN) and other online retailers collect sales tax if (WMT) has to. For me, the lure to (AMZN) is the free shipping, low prices, and time saving instead of searching for the product at (WMT). Time is money.


    Hope this will help bring the states' finances up. Sales tax as well as property tax go to fund states. Those states that have no sales tax often have high property taxes.


    And if I really want to save a few dollars on sales tax, I just buy the products when I visit New Hampshire. The state has no sales tax, but property tax is high.
    25 Mar 2013, 09:42 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)