Report: Nathan Deal considers extending sales tax enforcement to Internet purchases

From Walter Jones and Morris News Service:

ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal is considering extending the state sales tax to online purchases, he told newspaper publishers Thursday.

Eight states already tax electronic commerce, but most states have held off because Congress had signaled it would devise a national model to simplify the thousands of tax rates used by state and local governments across the country.

Deal said he wasn’t content to wait on Congress to act on immigration enforcement when he signed a tough law last year and that states may grow tired of waiting for federal leadership on e-commerce, too.

Deal said he wasn’t content to wait on Congress to act on immigration enforcement when he signed a tough law last year and that states may grow tired of waiting for federal leadership on e-commerce, too.

Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Deal, takes issue with those who say the governor is contemplating a new tax. From an e-mail this afternoon:

“It’s current law that all retail sales are supposed to pay a sales tax. He mentioned e-fairness. It’s about collecting taxes that some outlets aren’t paying when they are supposed to.”

Robinson said companies with a physical presence in Georgia already have to pay a sales tax on online sales, and that they shouldn’t be placed at a competitive disadvantage

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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147 comments Add your comment

Jay

January 13th, 2012
9:38 am

Deal is fully supportive of the misguided 1-cent TSPLOST tax, now he wants to implement internet sales taxes as fast as he can, and he wants to raise statewide spending by 5 percent this year. Georgia Republicans have a poor leader when it comes to championing fiscal conservatism.

Johnny

January 13th, 2012
9:45 am

kathy

January 13th, 2012
9:46 am

If Gov. Deal does this, then he’s lost my vote for his re-election – hands down.

John

January 13th, 2012
9:49 am

Why do republicans in GA want to raise taxes all the time.

I thought republicans were supposed to be fiscally conservative and anti-tax.

At least, that’s what they say when they’re campaigning.

Sam II

January 13th, 2012
9:50 am

I will also vote against anyone he supports, it this bill is passed. Wake up! You do not increase taxes in a recession. No freaking wonder you lost so much money with the sporting goods investment.

n

January 13th, 2012
9:55 am

Did he ask permission to raise taxes from the great and powerful Grover Norquist, who runs the Republican Party?

Morrus

January 13th, 2012
9:56 am

does anyone proof the AJC? It is consistently full of errors. Even Jim’s articla has a repeat of the last paragraph. Come on…..or is that the way you fill out the online paper for those of us freeloading?

Morrus

January 13th, 2012
9:57 am

Voted For The Moron

January 13th, 2012
9:57 am

I should have listened to my liberal friends. I hated Roy Barns but I hate liars and bugger eating morons even more.

deegee

January 13th, 2012
9:58 am

The explanation for this proposal is that Georgia will have to find $140 million of revenue that they will lose under the State’s proposal to give businesses an energy tax break. Hold on, here. I thought that tax breaks for businesses paid for themselves as businesses flood into the State and hire people. Have we been hoodwinked? Why can’t Deal just wait for the trickle down?

Josh

January 13th, 2012
9:59 am

@ Morrus

January 13th, 2012
9:56 am

does anyone proof the AJC? It is consistently full of errors. Even Jim’s articla has a repeat of the last paragraph. Come on…..or is that the way you fill out the online paper for those of us freeloading?

You may want to try a little proof reading yourself, because article is not spelled with an a at the end.

DannyX

January 13th, 2012
10:02 am

Georgia Republicans have a mandate, the voters have made it clear.

Georgia state revenue is going to be consumer based. Watch as corporate taxes are again slashed. The new revenue proposals require the middle class to shoulder the burden, new state tax on food, internet sales tax, and a new one cent transportation sales tax.

Now be a good Republican and say “thank you sir may I have another!” And mean it by passing the new transportation tax.

Thank you sir may I have another tax.

Common Sense

January 13th, 2012
10:03 am

When it comes to taxing, nothing beats a democrat turned republican like Deal.

Registered Independent

January 13th, 2012
10:06 am

This is the same DUDE that supports Newt for President! Wouldn’t this be a goodtime if they both were to hold a powerful office simultaneously. I voted for this clown so Barnes, Baker and Hodges didn’t run the State; damned if you do, and damned if you don’t!

Warmest regards.

Laurie

January 13th, 2012
10:07 am

It will be interesting to see how they try to implement this. I personally hope the state falls flat on their face trying to collect.

Danny O

January 13th, 2012
10:07 am

Please devote at least two seconds of thought to this issue before posting a knee-jerk, anti-tax diatribe. By continuing to not tax online sales, Georgia retailers are left at a significant disadvantage because shoppers will obtain their purchases online in order to save money. The status quo is bad for Georgia, as it provides an incentive to people to spend their money out of state, hurting local businesses.

Now, if this is purely an attempt to close a hole created by a proposed exemption on certain taxpayers (i.e. doing away with sales tax on energy for particular businesses), then I am completely against it. Loopholes and exemptions favor a select few to the detriment of the rest of us.

n

January 13th, 2012
10:07 am

Ten years of cutting corporate taxes and we still have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Let’s milk the middle class so we can give more to the “job creators” who don’t create jobs.

bart

January 13th, 2012
10:09 am

I hope all you people who voted for an unethical crook like Deal are happy. I voted for Handel. I figured it would be just a matter of time before you folks had “buyers’ remorse.”

td

January 13th, 2012
10:16 am

Yes, let us fast path to a total consumption tax. No more income taxes. Let us collect the taxes of the illegals and the drug dealers.

td

January 13th, 2012
10:19 am

Debbie Dooley

January 13th, 2012
10:12 am
Raise taxes – great!

How is this raising taxes. Why should internet shoppers be exempt from paying a ta on items when if you go into a store you are not exempt? This is a loophole not an additional tax. We will be able collect taxes from the illegals and the drug dealers.

quake

January 13th, 2012
10:19 am

Maybe Deal actually found a way to piss off everyone!! What a uniter!

Beeg Boi

January 13th, 2012
10:20 am

If we could tax stupid, td would pull us out of the recession.

deegee

January 13th, 2012
10:21 am

Shoppers don’t make their purchasing decisions solely on the existence or non existence of a tax any more than businesses make their decisions solely on the existence or non existence of a tax. Online purchasers are motivated by convenience, and the inability to find hard-to-find items locally. Price is not the sole determinant when making the decision to purchase online. Online shoppers will pay shipping charges that may be equal to or exceed the price of their purchase. There are plenty of online shoppers that prefer to make their purchase in a retail store where they can see and feel the product. Online shoppers may do some pre-shopping on the net so that they will be a better informed customer when they walk into a retail establishment.

While I don’t think that consumers should be responsible for shouldering the cost of a corporate tax break, I don’t think that a sales tax on an internet sale will break a sale if the customer really wants or needs the item. Having said that, maybe the GA Legislature could figure out a way to tax internet porn. Now that would rake in some dough.

td

January 13th, 2012
10:25 am

deegee

January 13th, 2012
10:21 am

“cost of a corporate tax break”

Corporations do not pay taxes. Their taxes are included in the price the consumer pays for the goods or services they buy.

Hugh Stowers

January 13th, 2012
10:28 am

I hope I live long enough to see an elected official anywhere in America who will trim any level of govenment and not increase it with some form of more taxes (govenment income).

findog

January 13th, 2012
10:32 am

Jay,
The republican have yet to elect a republican to the governor’s office.
Both Sonny and Nathan are 90’s era democrats that changed party affiliation solely to avoid republican challengers.
Nathan at least had the good manners to wait at least one year before raising taxes…

Just Plain Disgusted!

January 13th, 2012
10:38 am

As a Republican who votes in every primary and general election, I will vote and work against anyone who supports taxing internet sales in Georgia. We are already taxed to death and this is one of the few breaks we get. Leave it be!

flagger

January 13th, 2012
10:39 am

mytwocentsinga

January 13th, 2012
10:40 am

Good arguments all around. Taxing online will bring other loopholes to light. My issue is that Local Government can offer tax breaks to corporations and big business but not to the small business and entrepreneurial individual? That is two faced. The government is not a machine but selected and sometimes elected individual people that continue to forcibly rape the lower economical classes and dissenters. New America is coming and you wont like it.

findog

January 13th, 2012
10:43 am

td,
A pure consumption tax would be great, if there were no loopholes for business or real estate.
Also tax the value of batter and non-cash transactions that are used every day to skirt the law.
As Jesus would say, render unto Caesar what is Ceasar’s…

findog

January 13th, 2012
10:50 am

Debbie and td,
Corporations do not pay taxes. They should pay user fees because I should not be supporting corporations: to ship goods I don’t buy on the highway I paid for; law enforcement I pay for to protect their property; or the courts I pay for where they to seek protection of their patent’s; or the military-industrial complex I paid for to project American power so they can develop factories in other countries that might want to confiscate their assets…
By all means a consumer based tax model with a fees based utilization of government that corporations expect while off-shoring profits.

Colonel Jack

January 13th, 2012
10:52 am

I voted for Karen Handel …

Testerbill

January 13th, 2012
10:55 am

Not paying sales tax on internet purchases softens the cost of shipping that wouldn’t be paid if purchased locally. Sales Tax in addition to shipping costs might reduce online sales.
There would be state costs in trying to track each vendor to determine who is collecting the tax and if they ae reporting it to the state. If “Little Book Store” bothered to collect the tax and did not pass it to the state, how would the state know I made the purchase?

double

January 13th, 2012
10:56 am

Why you hipocrites say no new taxes(Fed)Ok new taxes state.Common sense there is no difference Deal R/D one and same.

gm

January 13th, 2012
10:57 am

Amazing, rep continue to say they are looking out for middle class Americans,
If Obama had of said he would do this, the right would have been calling him every socialist name you can think of.
This is what happens when a bunch of idiots continue to vote against their interest, so you bigots and hypocrites when you voted for deal to hurt Obama, here is your result, these rep in office could care less about you naive Georgia voters, use common sense next time instead of hate””””””””

td

January 13th, 2012
10:59 am

Hugh Stowers

January 13th, 2012
10:28 am
I hope I live long enough to see an elected official anywhere in America who will trim any level of govenment and not increase it with some form of more taxes (govenment income).

I guess you have not been paying attention for the past several years. Sonny and Deal have trimmed state government down tremendously over the past 5 years. We live in a state that requires a balanced budget each year. When revenues drop from $23 billion in 2007 to about $16 billion in 2010 then there are real cuts going on. Some state agencies have reduced their staff by 50% in the time period. Unfortunately, the people at the top have increased their staff.

Silverchief

January 13th, 2012
11:00 am

Deal is RINO !!!

jd

January 13th, 2012
11:02 am

Congress been saying since 1997 they would fix the internet tax problem — have yet to do so.

Btw, current state law requires you, the consumer, to pay your sales tax directly to the state for all purchases, including those made on the internet.

If we are to shift to a sales tax model of revenue — all sales must be taxed — or you will have a tax code that is unenforceable.

Tash

January 13th, 2012
11:03 am

@Danny-O

That is EXACTLY what it is!!!

Independent voter

January 13th, 2012
11:13 am

OMG..We pay to much taxes now if he raises taxes vote him out of the office.

deegee

January 13th, 2012
11:13 am

If the consumers truly pay corporations’ taxes, shouldn’t we consumers expect to see a reduction in prices if the State of GA reduces their tax burden by $140 million?

Now you've done it

January 13th, 2012
11:13 am

The GOP is brilliant…they have fooled voters (mostly in the south) that they are against taxes, yet they tax far more than Democrats. If it’s not taxes, it’s increases in fees, fares, tickets, etc. Check what the tax rate was under Reagan. People in the south are the easiest to fool because they are so emotional and are quickest to believe GOP hype.

Native Atlantan

January 13th, 2012
11:14 am

Life long progressive here and I agree, internet purchases should be taxed at the state/local rates. It should NOT matter the method for making a purchase (i.e., online, mail order or in person), a purchase is made and taxes should apply. There is no need for a national policy – retailers handle this all the time. If you purchase from Home Depot online, it is taxed at the local rate…the same with Macy’s, etc. On-line retailers without a local physical presence are getting off the hook. It’s not “share the wealth”, but it does level the playing field.

Now you've done it

January 13th, 2012
11:16 am

All republicans are RINO’s, because there is NO such thing as a real republican.

GwinnettRes

January 13th, 2012
11:16 am

This article does a poor job of relaying correct facts. As jd pointed out, this is not a new tax. You are already legally required to pay the sales tax. The only problem is that nobody does it. Anyone who has ever purchased an item online and not remitted proper sales tax to the state is a tax scofflaw. I believe what Governor Deal is proposing to make the retailer and not the consumer responsible for the payment of the tax.

DannyX

January 13th, 2012
11:21 am

td, revenues dropped because state favored businesses received huge tax breaks.

Case in point, your fiscally conservative governor Nathan Deal has included 15 million dollars in the next budget to buy land for a new football stadium. A stadium that is not needed. A stadium that will benefit filthy rich owner Arthur Blank who just got richer when the NFL signed their new gazillion dollar tv deal. The new stadium is needed so the rich can watch the games in comfort while the rest either sizzle in the heat, freeze in the cold, or get wet by a storm.

td

January 13th, 2012
11:21 am

deegee

January 13th, 2012
11:13 am
If the consumers truly pay corporations’ taxes, shouldn’t we consumers expect to see a reduction in prices if the State of GA reduces their tax burden by $140 million?

You should and you do. A corporation will make a profit of a certain % and if they are making to high of a profit or not being efficient enough then the market will produce a competitor that will produce the same good or service at a reduced rate.

td

January 13th, 2012
11:24 am

DannyX

January 13th, 2012
11:21 am
td, revenues dropped because state favored businesses received huge tax breaks

That is full of crap and you know it. Revenues dropped because we went from 4% unemployment to 10% unemployment due to the recession. When 6% of the population have less money to spend or make no money to tax then revenues are going to go down. Please tell the truth.

td

January 13th, 2012
11:26 am

Independent voter

January 13th, 2012
11:13 am
OMG..We pay to much taxes now if he raises taxes vote him out of the office.

Does the same go for Obama and the Federal government?

d

January 13th, 2012
11:27 am

For what it’s worth…. technically people should be paying the tax anyway and are not, this is just a method to ensure that the taxes that are lawfully owed to the state are paid to the state.