Retail Parasites and the Online Sales Tax

The Senate recently approved legislation that would allow states to require out-of-state businesses to collect and remit sales tax. The argument in favor of this legislation is "fairness" to brick and mortar retailers, who must collect sales tax in the states in which they are physically present. Advocates of the Marketplace Fairness Act like to conjure the image of shadowy Internet businesses competing unfairly with the little Mom-and-Pop store on the street corner. The truth is, however, that these Internet businesses are far more likely to compete with entities such as Wal-Mart and Best Buy, all of which have their own websites but will not set their online prices so as to undercut in-store sales. These are the same large retail chains that probably drove Mom and Pop out of business a few decades ago. Best Buy and Target, two of the loudest voices in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act, have even colluded with municipal authorities to abuse eminent domain to take Mom's and Pop's...(Read Full Article)

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