May 10, 2013 at 6:33 AM
Senate passes Marketplace Fairness Act
Act might not benefit brick-and-mortar stores
Although I do quite a bit of online shopping, I don’t shop at Amazon.com [“Internet sales-tax bill backed by Amazon passes Senate,” Business, May 7]. In fact, at least 90 percent of my online purchases are for items that are not available in any brick-and-mortar retail outlet in Seattle or Washington state. For that matter, some of my purchases are from online retailers that are outside the United States. The question of paying sales tax (or not) doesn’t enter into my purchase decisions.
So what is “fair” about an online retailer with no physical presence in Washington selling items that are not available from any “Main Street” retailer in Washington and collecting and returning a sales tax to Washington? The sales tax collected should be submitted to the state in which the online retailer is located.
My prediction is that this bill will possibly put a lot of online retailers out of business, without benefiting these brick-and-mortar retailers much at all.
Jim Stewart, Seattle
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