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

Independent voter

January 13th, 2012
11:29 am

td you are a idiot, What do Nathan Deal taxes increase have to do with president Obama. td you must be a lonely person who dream about Obama all the time.

DannyX

January 13th, 2012
11:30 am

td, another thing your “fiscal conservative” Republicans did to stick it to the middle class was the Georgia Power nuclear power plant surcharge. The daddy of all corporate giveaways.

Don't Tread

January 13th, 2012
11:34 am

A few days ago I was wondering where the state would make up the tax revenue for the energy tax exemption. And….here it is!

Candylicious

January 13th, 2012
11:43 am

Well if this comes to pass at least two things will happen on the Candylicious level: I’ll be making fewer online purchases, and I won’t be voting for Gov. Deal (probably wouldn’t anyway).

the man

January 13th, 2012
11:46 am

gm=marta train prophet

BobDog

January 13th, 2012
11:47 am

@Testerbill “how would the state know I made the purchase?”

The way is by auditing online sellers. A good start would be to audit a high-profile seller like Amazon, the rest would fall in line once they saw the repercussions.

What I don’t like about this thing is that they are going to give a tax break to manufacturers and farmers and make consumers pay for it.

Patrick

January 13th, 2012
11:47 am

td,

Until that competitor comes along, assuming one does, we will see the prices stay the same even though the consumer is paying the taxes. No corporation is going to reduce their prices if they are not forced to do so.

Centrist

January 13th, 2012
11:49 am

Too early to weigh in. If this is (likely) just another layer of taxation – certainly opposed. If it is a tax neutral shift (unlikely, but will be marketed that way) from income tax to a consumption tax – good idea.

Am waiting to see the WHOLE tax package changes. This year I expect a review to be bought and paid for instead of last year’s negative review of the proposed changes. There will certainly be other reviews than the official one that will be better massaged than last year. I suspect the status quo will still be better when all is presented – but it is more likely to pass this year with better marketing. Democrats will only support it if they see it is more revenue even if marketed as revenue neutral.

Centrist

January 13th, 2012
11:58 am

My litmus test on proposed tax changes this year: If the Democrats are for the proposed changes in an overall package as they see more revenue and bigger government – I will be opposed.

td

January 13th, 2012
12:03 pm

Patrick

January 13th, 2012
11:47 am
td,

Until that competitor comes along, assuming one does, we will see the prices stay the same even though the consumer is paying the taxes. No corporation is going to reduce their prices if they are not forced to do so.

And how many businesses currently have no competition?

DannyX

January 13th, 2012
12:08 pm

These tax breaks sure don’t benefit the consumer. Politicians sure do benefit. Lack of state ethics and the corporate tax breaks go hand and hand.

Take the 60 million dollar a year state tax breaks given to Delta by the state. Politicians did great, they received $320,000 in campaign contributions the past 5 years from Delta. On top of that Delta handed out Delta Medallion upgrades to12 politicians. Why would they need to bribe our politicians if the tax breaks had merit?

You think Georgia taxpayers are going to get a free Delta Medallion upgrade?

Michael G

January 13th, 2012
12:08 pm

Obama vs Deal whats the difference …. Raise our taxes… He!! NO Leave our money alone. its ours no matter what you say.

Local shopper/worker/taxpayer

January 13th, 2012
12:12 pm

Small businesses are in dire condition in Georgia and around the country in part because people are willing to save a few dollars and buy online. When you do that, you cheat our local governments of needed revennue to pay for school teachers, fire fighters, repairing raods and so on. This would only “level the playing field” with local companies who employ people here locally as well. I am convinced the economy is recovering so slowly because local businesses are not hiring because people are willing to save a few dollars and buy online. Who does that help, really? Buy locally and help local businesses who hire your friends and neighbors, who keep neighborhood stores open, who support local charities and pay local taxes. OR, whine and moan when more stores close, shopping centers become ghost towns and more folks are out looking for work. Tax internet sales!!

LMAO

January 13th, 2012
12:18 pm

@td And how many businesses currently have no competition?

Comcast at least in the Atlanta market. Satellite is not real competition. Satellite doesn’t pay franchise fees or show local government programming.

Lindsey

January 13th, 2012
12:20 pm

Even if they add more taxes to my online purchases, I would sill shop online. Online shopping saves me a trip to my local Wal-Mart where all I do is get frustrated because I get stuck in line behind someone arguing with a cashier about what their food stamps will cover.

Shine

January 13th, 2012
12:21 pm

…and Deal cant wait to follow Republicans in creating new taxes so deadbeat business can pay less. Throw the GOP out of power!!

richard

January 13th, 2012
12:22 pm

Not having Internet sales taxes keeps the costs at the local stores down to compete. So taxing internet sales will likely drive up the cost of everything you buy at the store.

Shine

January 13th, 2012
12:33 pm

Td is a kook. If corps dont pay taxes they just pass the cost along to higher prices, then individuals dont pay taxes they just pass the cost along to higher wage demands.

findog

January 13th, 2012
12:33 pm

td@ 11:24
when are you going to quit blaming George W Bush for the state’s problems? :)

findog

January 13th, 2012
12:39 pm

Can you say off shore. Add a tax and they will set up server farms off shore to take your order so that they can’t get to the data on purchases.

MB

January 13th, 2012
12:46 pm

While I would never support increased taxation of any kind, you do need to be aware that purchases at an online retailer that has a physical retail location in your state are currently being taxed. But the additional taxation is not going to harm the internet commerce. Two bills currently in congress will destroy the internet and our economy. Senate bill 968 (Protect IP) will cause more destruction to the internet and to e-commerce in general.

Unfortunately both of our Senators are listed as co-sponsors of the bill. Please contact both Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and encourage them to not support this dangerous bill.

David

January 13th, 2012
1:00 pm

Corporations are people too, so let’s stop writing laws that exempt them from sales tax, Governor!!!

That new sales to exempt corporate jet parts on repairs “giveaway” proposed (and passed last year???) was a hoot. Gulfstream and General Dynamics are doing splendidly this year as well as their stockholders, let alone their wealthy customers. They didn’t need your corporate bailout.

Stop trying to tax labor on auto repairs, isn’t taxing the parts enough? Please leave the food exemption alone, as it hits the poorest the hardest. And online sales, forget about it!!!

Tax, tax, tax. We are not getting raises out here, Governor, so these extra taxes you are proposing represent reductions in our quality of life. Geez.

Your Favorite Local

January 13th, 2012
1:10 pm

THANK YOU GOVERNOR DEAL!! As a small business owner who has been supporting my community and my state with the faithful collection and remittance of sales taxes for many years, it’s about time for the state to level the playing field and require internet businesses to collect and pay what is legally owed.

When you buy from Amazon or any other online retailer which does not collect the REQUIRED sales tax, you are simply sending your money OUT of your community, depleting the local economy and shortchanging your local schools, roads, sidewalks, public safety, and the countless other services that sales taxes support. Shop at my store and your money circulates in YOUR community. I hire local employees, buy local supplies, pay local taxes, donate to local charities, etc. Can’t say the same about Amazon…

It’s about time our state government supported our local economy!

Veteran

January 13th, 2012
1:14 pm

Why do we have to pay the sales tax anyway? Many other countries do not have that “luxury”, and they manage their budgets just fine. Get rid of it, simplify the tax returns, simplify our lives! Are we not robbed by our government enough? I know – wishful thinking..

Mr. Know It All

January 13th, 2012
1:23 pm

Small government low tax Republicans… No better than Democrats! I am voting for third parties from now on. They may not win, but at least I won’t waste my vote on someone who doesn’t deserve it.

retiredds

January 13th, 2012
1:27 pm

the new Republican strategy …. tax and spend

David

January 13th, 2012
1:32 pm

Favorite Local,

You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. People buy on line because they save loads of money (not merely sales tax), but mostly it is because the range of inventory online is nearly endless.

Few stores today offer service, that compels people to pay more. Ace is great, and so is Radio Shack, but unless you need it right there and then, it does pay to go online.

missing the point

January 13th, 2012
1:33 pm

I can’t type for laughing. wow, everytime a republican candidate gets to speak during a campaign they always say smaller government and no raising taxes. Then a group of well meaning and largely educated group of people head to the polls ready to vote for the republican candidate. Next day at work, these same well meaning republicans high five and carry on at work saying how their man will now run this state and do it without raising taxes. Fast forward a couple months and these same folks are paying cash money to drive down certain hi speed lanes during rush hour and now are looking at internet taxes. People, money comes from people. Many of you are educated so why do you always fall for the republican tricks time and time again?? OBTW, how are those pay lanes working for you?? Obama in 2012!! “Who ya wit?”

dave bear

January 13th, 2012
1:45 pm

Why don’t we work on getting those who do not pay any taxes to pay their fair share of taxes instead of continuing to tax those of us who pay for everything even more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Ned Puddleman

January 13th, 2012
1:52 pm

It shouldn’t be a goal of the government to ensure “fairness” in the business cycle.

Ben

January 13th, 2012
1:55 pm

How is he going to collect it? He can only collect thru businesses chartered and operating in Georgia and the feral government has been trying to set up some kind of national online tax scheme for a long time and nothing’s ever come of it.

cg

January 13th, 2012
1:55 pm

Don’t tax us any more you B#$@%tards We’re taxed out the @#$ now……when we buy, when we sell, what we earn, on the toll roads at the state parks, with our license, on our permits. When is enough, enough?

MattMD

January 13th, 2012
2:07 pm

I love these half-educated clowns who say corporations do not pay taxes. Sure, some of the tax is passed on to the consumer in higher prices but not all of it.

Feel free to grab a microeconomics book and look at the pretty graphs. Better yet, ask someone who owns a small business.

Rick

January 13th, 2012
2:08 pm

Wow, so Deal is a “tax and spend” conservative? Nathan Deal wants to raise our taxes?

Rick

January 13th, 2012
2:10 pm

Um, “MattMD”, multi-national US corporations don’t pay US taxes. They shelter it in offshore tax havens, something that you and I are not legally able to do. But thanks for standing up to defend corporations, very human of you.

Darius

January 13th, 2012
2:14 pm

Not having to charge sales tax does not give online retailers an unfair advantage. Having much better prices is what give online retailers and unfair advantage.

LH

January 13th, 2012
2:16 pm

Let’s see, Deal’s spokesman says, “that they shouldn’t be placed at a competitive disadvantage.” Funny, I thought that taxes are to fund government services NOT to provide a competitive advantage to business. Republicans are Taxed Enough Already and want Government out of business’s way, but – oh wait – we want more taxes and more government when it puts $$ in our pocket!! How disingenuous.

Curzen

January 13th, 2012
2:16 pm

As usual Republicans have no trouble at all burdening Mainstreet with more taxes, they only start foaming at the mouth when their rich buddies would have to pay more.

Steady

January 13th, 2012
2:21 pm

It looks like a one term Deal.

KBB

January 13th, 2012
2:21 pm

Republicans: “Raising taxes is socialism!”*

*what they mean is raising taxes on corporations (they are people), and the wealthy flies against the agenda of their elite members and they dont mind raising taxes on their poor Nascar/UGA lovin’ Constituents because we can just throw some social issue like EVIL GAYS or LAZY BLACKS in the ear to distract them!

KBB

January 13th, 2012
2:21 pm

Republicans: “Raising taxes is socialism!”*

*what they mean is raising taxes on corporations (they are people), and the wealthy flies against the agenda of their elite members and they dont mind raising taxes on their poor Nascar/UGA lovin’ Constituents because we can just throw some social issue like EVIL GAYS or LAZY BLACKS in the ear to distract them!

lol

January 13th, 2012
2:22 pm

Soo…. how will they actually enforce that?? morons.

Rtruth

January 13th, 2012
2:22 pm

Why are all politician crooks? Can’t just one go without taxing something?

MD

January 13th, 2012
2:22 pm

That’s all well and good, Governor, but what do we Georgians do when the Federal Government passes a nationwide tax for online purchases? Does that mean the state of Georgia will roll back our version of the E-commerce tax?

Anyone that uses the GA-400 toll road knows the answer to that one…

Rexdogma

January 13th, 2012
2:23 pm

Typical Republican Greed Grab!!!

LH

January 13th, 2012
2:23 pm

Local shopper/worker/taxpayer – “you cheat our local governments of needed revennue to pay for school teachers, fire fighters, repairing raods and so on”

NO – We pay local taxes because a local business needs services from the local government like fire BUT an on-line business imposes no financial burden on local government so there is nothing to pay for.

JimbouliYes

January 13th, 2012
2:24 pm

Screw the sales tax. Fire more state employees. Let them deal with being out of work like the other 17-20%. 8.5% my azz. Deal can shove it.

td

January 13th, 2012
2:24 pm

MattMD

January 13th, 2012
2:07 pm

I do own a couple of small businesses. I have some rental property and all my property taxes are passed right on to the tenets. I own a small business and when I quote a job, the taxes I have to pay are quoted in the price.

MattMD

January 13th, 2012
2:29 pm

td–

Well, you’re certainly in the minority if you can pass all your taxes onto the consumer. Funny how companies hire accountants and lawyers to minimize the burden of taxes they don’t pay.

Also, you pay taxes on rental income, not just the property.

Rick

January 13th, 2012
2:32 pm

this is not a NEW tax. It should be collected to just like buying from your local retailer. The problem is that it has not been.