In a recent editorial, the Seattle Times criticized U.S. House Speaker John Boehner for rejecting Internet sales tax legislation [“If John Boehner kills the Marketplace Fairness Act, it would hurt Washington state,” Opinion, Nov. 13]. As a small online business owner, I am thankful that leaders in Congress are taking a more thoughtful approach and taking additional time to analyze how the legislation would burden our nation’s entrepreneurs.
By law, I am required to adhere to the same tax laws as any storefront on Main Street. When I sell a product to a customer here in Washington, I collect a sales tax on that purchase. Requiring businesses to collect sales taxes in states where they have a physical presence makes sense. However, proposed federal legislation, formally known as the Marketplace Fairness Act, would force me to become a tax collector for 9,600 jurisdictions and 45 states nationwide.
Paying taxes to other states is unfair because I do not receive any of the benefits of having a business in that state, such as schools, transportation, police and other public services. Furthermore, the possibility of time-consuming and costly audits associated with taxation is extremely frightening. I only have 28 full-time employees and I simply do not have the bandwidth or resources to be audited by multiple out-of-state tax authorities.
Stan Carson, Wenatchee