Letter to the Editor: Lost in Cyber Space

Certainly, the internet is a plus for mankind, but it is also a bane to states’ funding due to an unworkable “hit and miss” remote tax collection system. The 45 states which have a sales tax are losing over $13,000,000,000 yearly in taxes on remote transactions according to an estimate by the GAO. South Carolina’s shortfall is estimated at about $250,000,000. Those annual losses are due to an archaic, unenforceable, and substantially “volunteer” sales tax system for internet purchases. Off course, the states’ revenue losses are growing in lockstep with the exponential increase of internet business at the expense of shrinking brick and mortar business. In other words, sales tax collections will progressively worsen until we have a national solution to resolve this national problem.

Currently many states are scrambling for their own resolutions. I understand their eagerness for a fair sales tax and their need to stop the fiscal bleeding. I, also, sympathize with the states’ view the current system is unfair to the small businesses. Furthermore, I empathize with their position the current system of uncollectability favors those with computer access and ample credit card power. However, a patchwork of individual state fixes will only compound the problem with a myriad of costly and confusing regulations.

I am not proposing any new taxes. I am only asking for a fair system which collects all sales tax. I just want our state to be able to collect all of its deserved taxes so we can benefit from all of our deserved services. I want fairness for taxpayers and businesses alike. I want a universal and uniform solution to this nearly nationwide opportunity. Hopefully, you want a fair sales collection system also.

Please ask your national and state reps to work together on a universal solution to this universal and very unfair problem.


Randy Bright


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