"State senate candidate wants to tax internet sales
He calls himself a conservative. He flaunts his pro-life views and makes much ado of his school choice advocacy. But when one looks below the small talk that political candidates use to define their images, voters will discover that state Senate candidate Greg Walker is not a true-blue advocate of small government and a free market.
Seeping through his conservative veneer are such liberal ideas as forcing Hoosier internet venders to collect sales tax. If Walker gets his way, Indiana's business owners will find their online customer base evaporating as buyers go elsewhere. And it doesn't take a trip to Texas to buy out of state; just a click of the mouse.
While Walker's internet sales tax will be devastating to small online business owners, it will wreak even greater havoc on micro-businesses. Web sites such as eBay.com, KaysList.com and Craigslist.com are fertile fields for upstart entrepreneurs. Many launch their enterprises by selling only a few items per year. Imposing the burden of tracking, collecting and remitting sales tax will deprive these budding capitalists of the free market environment needed to survive.
And that raises the question of fairness. If small and mirco-businesses are forced to collect, track and remit internet sales tax, will individual sellers face the same stringent requirements? The differences that delineates an individual seller from a micro-business are virtually indistinguishable.
If Bob and Betsy from Bedford sell their Toyota for a profit, does that sale constitute a micro-business? What if they sell a car, a boat and a hat rack? Are they now entrepreneurs? At what point must they collect, track and remit sales tax? The point is simple: To be fair, Walker's internet sales tax must apply to all.
Advocates of internet sales tax would have us believe that millions of windfall tax dollars will fill the state coffers from out-of-state vendors. They are wrong. Out-of-state vendors are not subject to Indiana laws and the state has no means of enforcing such requirements. Internet sellers based out of state will simply ignore the law. They will have a clear advantage over Hoosier businesses.
What's more, some Indiana business owners will skirt sales taxes by relocating out of state. All they need is a PO Box somewhere beyond the state line.
Any thinking person — and there are many — can easily see that Greg Walker's quest to force Hoosiers to collect, track and remit sales tax for internet sales is inherently flawed. It simply won't work. But you'll never convince the tax and spend liberals. And if Walker is elected November 7, those liberals will have one more advocate in the Indiana State Senate.