You may be surprised to learn that, when you buy a TV online, you owe the same state sales tax that you would pay if you had purchased the TV at the appliance store on Main Street. Many online sellers don’t collect the state sales tax, and many purchasers don’t pay it, even though they owe it. This creates an online sales tax loophole.
Main Street retail stores are up in arms about the unfairness of this online sales tax loophole. As William F. Buckley Jr. wrote, “The mattress maker in Connecticut is willing to compete with the company in Massachusetts, but does not like it if out-of-state businesses are, in practical terms, subsidized; that’s what the non-tax amounts to. Local concerns are complaining about traffic in mattresses and books and records and computer equipment which, ordered through the Internet, come in, so to speak, duty free.”
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