Allowing taxes that discriminate against online purchases would be an awful idea. But the current moratorium extends also to taxation of internet access.Internet access is a service, just like a haircut, legal services, going to the dentist, getting a massage, etc. There is no good reason why internet access should be exempted from (at least) otherwise uniform taxes on services. A state that wanted to implement something as simple as an uniform subtraction-method value-added tax would be impeded from doing so under the current moratorium.In fact, doing so would harm efforts to move sales tax codes toward the state in which its hardest for them to be captured by special interests: uniform percentage rates.There is no reason why the moratorium needs to prohibit internet access taxes except to the extent that they treat internet access unreasonably relative to other services.Surely Google can engage in a deeper level of analysis than simply "it must be passed, unamended."
In response to Daniel, any pro-taxation amendment to the bill would create a barrier to entry within the e-commerce market. What sort of barrier? Imagine an individual wants to sell their unique, hand-made widgets online to people across the US. Under current laws, it's pretty simple to do this. If the laws were changed, the person would have to track the tax laws in 50 states, and possibly even countless municipalities. That's an undue burden, which is a major reason why the bill was passed in the first place. Such an entry-barrier would create a market where only companies and retailers large enough to track tax law and other regulations across the nation would be able to operate; a change that would fundamentally alter the online markets and the Internet itself.
This fight is similar to the one my organization is having against credit card companies with regard to interchange, the hidden fee that Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, etc. charge to merchants, both on and off-line. In actuality, consumers are the ones that foot the bill.As you point out, a lift in the online tax moratorium would be very difficult for the small businesses out there.
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