NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

May 8, 2013

Our view: Internet sales tax is a move toward fairness

(Continued)

To counter that, the Senate bill says an online business must have $1 million in annual sales before it can be taxed. And states must create central taxing systems, so businesses aren’t sending payments to cities or other municipalities.

Still, critics of the measure contend too many smaller businesses will be hurt, stifled by the bureaucracy of having to appease so many different states. Having sales of $1 million sounds like a big operation, but that’s not the same as $1 million in profits.

We think this type of legislation is overdue, but we also recognize it must be done with care. And perhaps states — which also ought to be interested in fostering business — should look for ways to establish a sales tax collection system for online operators that’s more streamlined than the one that exists now.

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