Online Sales Tax

I didn't expect my recent column to go over well with a lot of readers because I'm proposing that states should have the right to require Internet merchants to collect sales taxes. Almost no one likes taxes and some people commented how my proposal would add to our burden. But read my lips. I am not proposing new taxes. What I'm suggesting is that taxes already in place be applied fairly regardless of whether you buy products online or in stores. If you live in a state that doesn't have a sales tax than you wouldn't pay it online. If you feel your state is taxing you too much, than take it up with the legislature. But just because you buy something online rather than at a local store shouldn't entitle you to a special tax break.

As I say in the column, my concern about taxing local stores and not Internet merchants is that it hurts the local businesses that are the fabric of our communities. I'm all for online commerce but when I need something right away or want to get some hands-on advice, I appreciate my local stores and want them to be here for my kids to patronize as well. For that to happen, they need a level playing field with e-tailers.