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Re: Amazon boycott

I am less concerned about the Amazons of the world than all of 
the smaller companies for whom just keeping track of the 
patchwork of state and municipal sales tax rates and complying 
with collection would make it utterly impossible for them to do 
business online.  Only the Amazons would remain.

Note that the infrastructure argument, carried to its logical 
conclusion, could mean that ALL states involved in a transaction 
are entitled to collect sales tax - the home state of the vendor, 
all the states upon whose roads the delivery truck traveled, and 
the state of the buyer.  Certainly this scenario would provide 
unfair advantages to in-state sellers and could potentially kill 
interstate commerce. (Arguably, part of why the framers of the 
Constitution reserved for the federal government the power to 
regulate interstate commerce).

One could easily turn the argument around, thinking of the status 
quo as a DISadvantage to Walmart rather than an advantage to 
Amazon, in that Walmart and other companies are unfairly 
disadvantaged when based within states that have chosen a sales 
tax model for funding their government operations.

Darby Orcutt
Assistant Head
Collection Management
North Carolina State University Libraries
Raleigh, NC  27695-7111

On 8/18/2011 8:56 PM, John Buschman wrote:

> That Amazon contracts to have delivered items it sells means 
> that it does, in fact, use the infrastructure of any given 
> state to deliver the items.  I think as another post put it, to 
> simply jump to the level saying this is tantamount to a boycott 
> of the internet is a little polemical.  Not collecting taxes on 
> online sales is a direct benefit and subsidy to them.  The 
> items get delivered - whether by a truck to a store, or by 
> trucks to homes. The roads, the fuel, the emissions, the 
> sidewalks, the stoplights, police, and on all use the same 
> infrastructure, it is simply that Amazon enjoys an unfair tax 
> advantage.  I don't particularly like the side benefit to 
> Walmart that comes with this, but the playing fields (such as 
> they are) are tilted here.
> John Buschman