Maryland Considers “Amazon Tax”
March 19, 2010
On Wednesday, Maryland legislators heard testimony on S.B. 824, a proposal to enact a so-called “Amazon tax” in the state. From what I’ve heard, the legislators on the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee were engaged on the subject and eager to learn about the issue.
Until very recently, “Amazon tax” proponents have had a field day, claiming that the laws raise revenue for the state, level the playing field, and have survived constitutional scrutiny. None of those claims bear out, as I outlined in testimony we sent for the hearing.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states cannot force out-of-state businesses to comply with a sales tax system so complicated and burdensome that it disrupts interstate commerce. Maryland wants to do so, and the 3,800 affilate marketers in Maryland are taking notice.
[S]tates should seek to create reasonable and enforceable tax laws that do not create a compliance burden that is unfair or impractical.
I understand each state’s budget/fiscal problems are serious; therefore, they are looking for revenue everywhere.
Has anyone ever stopped to think . . . . would the states be attempting to pass and enforce Amazon tax laws if they were not experiencing budget problems?
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