Gov. Inslee Supports Internet Sales Tax – Goodbye Online Savings
The very title of the measure smacks of redistribution of wealth, or "leveling" the playing field.
Thursday, David Postman, the director of PR for Governor Jay Inslee, released a statement from the Gov. urging the Congress to pass what is called "The Marketplace And Internet Fairness Tax."
Supporters claim it would "level" the playing field between online internet businesses, and those residing in Washington state and around the nation. According to supporters, it's unfair that consumers can purchase goods and services on the internet from out of state suppliers that are cheaper than here - partly because of no state sales tax.
But when you read Inslee's statement, you discover this is essentially a tax grab by the government. None of the revenue is going to these Washington or other state's businesses - it's designed to bring more money into government coffers. Here's part of Inslee's statement Thursday:
"The Marketplace & Internet Tax Fairness Act is among the most important actions Congress can take to support our state this year. The legislation would finally level the competitive playing field between online retailers and Washington state brick-and-mortar small businesses and allow our state and local governments to receive uncollected revenue due them under current tax law." (Bold lettering added for emphasis).
It's a slippery slope that has been debated for several years now. Some state governments, as well as the federal government, have been trying to figure out a way to slap a sales tax on internet purchases, above and beyond taxes and fees you pay already pay.
Some legislators interpret tax law to mean it can be levied on purchases because those consumers live in that certain state - even though the company may be, say, in Ohio or California. That makes about as much sense as saying you can require toll taxes to be paid by airliners that fly through Washington state airspace without ever landing.
But as ShiftWA, The Seattle Times blog and other media critics are pointing out now, Governor Inslee has turned out to be vastly different than Candidate Inslee. Not only has he abandoned his campaign stance of being against taxes, he has a distorted view of how the economy works. He thinks by "leveling" the playing field, it will help Washington businesses. His campaign rhetoric was littered with statements about how taxes won't help our state's economy, and he even claimed he would veto tax increases. What a difference two years makes.
No, what will help is easing the tax and regulatory burden imposed by our state, and the federal government. Consumers will find a way to get the cheapest, most affordable products - regardless of where they have to shop for it.
Inslee fails to grasp that when goods and services become more expensive, people either A) stop buying them, or B) search elsewhere to find them. That doesn't exactly cause the machines of industry to keep humming.