Amazon Deal in Utah Undermines Tax Rate Competition – Independent

Amazon Deal in Utah Undermines Tax Rate Competition – Independent
In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court put the kibosh on the states collecting sales taxes from out-of-state sellers. The case, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, was a windfall for fledgling e-commerce vendors, was still only a gleam in Jeff Bezos’s eye, but brick-and-mortar retailers never got over it. Nor did many state governments. And although some states devised a workaround, so-called “user fees” on out-of-state purchases, except for cars and trucks, collection of these fees has proven difficult to enforce. Utah gets something less than $200 million in extra tax revenue, but that is money Amazon’s customers, if it remained in their pockets, would use more wisely than state and local governments will. The public sector is profligate because it spends other people’s money rather than its own.

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