I came across this article this morning, and it's so brilliant in its insight, I just had to comment here and link to the article. Hat tip to
I'm not a big fan of the Marketplace Fairness Act. For one thing, I'm always suspicious of any use of the word "fair" by a politician. But, as this article points out, fairness can run both ways.
MFA would require that businesses collect tax for other states if they ship to those states. It's insanely complicated. But what about people coming into a state to avoid taxes in their own state. Think about people from Wisconsin going to Minnesota to buy clothing (the example in the article).
But what about people in Washington state who go to Oregon to avoid sales tax on appliances (this is a big problem). Should Oregon retailers be required to collect Washington sales tax if all they do is put the TV in the customer's SUV? Ditto for retailers in New Hampshire and Delaware.
What about people from Chicago, where the sales tax rate is insanely high, who go to the outlet malls in Kenosha, Wisconsin to take advantage of a substantially lower sales tax rate. Shouldn't those malls be required to collect the tax for Chicago?
If you're going to make retailers from other states collect taxes based on where they ship to, it seems clear to me that retailers in other states should collect the taxes for people who are trying to avoid tax in their home state.
Seems only fair.
The Sales Tax Guy
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Picture note: the image above is hosted on Flickr. If you'd like to see more, click on the photo. And if you're desperately trying to see the connection...Superman stands for "justice". Get it?