Although I oppose taxes in general

I recently got an email from eBay. Apparently NYS is up to shenanigans, trying to make out of state sellers collect sales tax (even though there are rulings that a company needs a nexus in a given state before they can be forced to collect taxes).

But it was a bit misleading- I've copy/pasted it here-

Hi David:

The New York State Legislature is threatening to impose new Internet sales tax burdens on you by penalizing your favorite online marketplaces.

A budget proposal recently introduced in the legislature would require online marketplaces to impose New York sales tax for any transactions involving New York buyers, including all out-of-state purchases from even the smallest businesses, artisans, and consumers.

Here's why you should care:

  • This is a drastic departure from current law. It threatens to increase costs to everyone in New York who takes advantage of the Internet to buy from small businesses, artisans, and even other consumers, undermining the very business model that allows online marketplaces to provide low-cost services and opportunities to New Yorkers.
  • Other states will follow suit, subjecting New York-based small businesses and marketplaces to the jurisdiction of tax departments in other states. Imagine every small business-and even the most casual seller in New York-being subject to audits and tax enforcement throughout every tax-hungry state across the country.

For years, eBay Inc. has pushed government to eliminate harmful tax burdens for small businesses and consumers-and now we need your help. If you agree that this is bad Internet tax legislation, tell your state legislators.

Participation is easy-just fill out the simple form on our eBay Main Street website. Let your state legislators know that you oppose harmful tax laws that stifle business growth and harm New York consumers.


The eBay Government Relations Team


The misleading part is the first bullet point- it will actually change NOTHING for New York state residents. We are ALREADY required to pay use tax on those purchases. And I'm certain every single one of us pays every penny that is due the state, so it's a non-issue. And should use tax BE an issue...then it's an enforcement issue which I've said for years- hire a bunch of auditors and go over every taxpayer's purchases with a fine tooth comb to get every penny due. Which would of course have people howling...and the laws would change. Rather than doing that (the right thing), New York State is trying to take the path of least resistance.

New York has enough money- Cuomo was able to shovel enough of it to his friends in Buffalo (the Buffalo Billions- I'm kidding of course, I'm sure that entire things is above-board). We just need to stop wasting it. But that's easier said than done.

But eBay missed the boat with this one as I note above- there is NO CHANGE to a given person in New York State.

-Zjabs (Rochester's Official Columnist)

© 2017 Zjabs - 3/11/17

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