“[I]f [the Marketplace Fairness Act] bill becomes law, fairness goes up in smoke. Online merchants would become revenue collectors for every sales-tax jurisdiction in America — an estimated 9,600 of them, each with its quirks and quiddities. No longer would Internet retailers based in Massachusetts be liable only for sales taxes owed to Massachusetts. They would have to calculate and remit taxes owed to Tennessee and California and Wyoming and New Jersey, charging different levies for different customers, and somehow keeping up with the ever-shifting kaleidoscope of sales-tax rates, definitions, exemptions, and deadlines. Yet the owner of the brick-and-mortar shop around the corner would go on as before, charging only a single tax rate and remitting taxes to only a single state. … There’s a crucial reason why merchants can only be required to collect taxes for states in which they are physically present: Anything else would be taxation without representation. States must not be allowed to reach beyond their borders, imposing tax obligations on retailers who had no vote or voice in creating those obligations, no political recourse, no opportunity to be heard. Against such unfairness, Americans once fought a revolution. A craving for revenue is no reason to forget that.” –columnist Jeff Jacoby
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