Summer Savings! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Readers Respond
News Opinion Readers Respond

Internet sales tax would boost small business

Contrary to what a recent letter writer may think ("Internet sales tax will hurt small businesses," Nov. 18), collection of state sales taxes on online retail transactions will be a boon to small businesses in Maryland. Small businesses currently face unfair and detrimental competition from online-only retailers who exploit the loophole in our nation's sales tax laws to avoid collecting and remitting state sales taxes.

The current legislation — the Marketplace Fairness Act and the Marketplace Equity Act — before Congress is designed to eliminate the 6 percent price disadvantage and level the playing field for small, in-state businesses. It also provides an exemption for small online sellers to make sure that they are not unduly burdened by compliance requirements.

The argument that there is no simple way for online retailers to calculate the sales tax for buyers in different cities and states no longer holds true. There is free software readily available to seamlessly manage sales tax collection across all jurisdictions. And before we know it there will probably be an app for it as well.

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it is a good time to contemplate the contributions of brick-and-mortar retailers to communities across Maryland. It is also a good time for Congress to take action to make sure that this is the last time they are forced to compete on an unlevel playing field. It's the right thing to do.

Thomas C. Barbuti, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • How to make another round of Baltimore riots inconceivable

    How to make another round of Baltimore riots inconceivable

    The July 27th page 1 article, "For some city youths, police camp builds relationship" explained "... how city and public safety leaders are trying to reach, teach and connect with children in ... Baltimore" through two police summer camps, Girls Expecting More Success (GEMS) and Gang Resistance...

  • Smog plan puts profits ahead of health

    Smog plan puts profits ahead of health

    According to the air-quality chief for Maryland Department of the Environment, Gov. Larry Hogan is trying to strike a "delicate balance" by letting coal plants supply Maryland residents with electricity and pollution ("New Hogan smog plan fails to satisfy power plants, environmentalists," July...

  • Even at pony swim, safety counts

    Even at pony swim, safety counts

    Apparently, safety issues are disregarded in the annual Chincoteague pony swim. In the photograph on The Sun's front page, the boat appears to be overloaded and no one is wearing a lifejacket ("Viewers brave muck, mosquitoes to see 90th Chincoteague Pony Swim," July 29).

  • Hogan right to close the city jail

    Hogan right to close the city jail

    The Baltimore City Detention Center has been not only a blight to the city but also the state of Maryland for eons ("Hogan closes city jail," July 31) . I applaud Gov. Larry Hogan for having the fortitude to do something the previous administration did not.

  • ISIS not a byproduct of carbon dioxide

    ISIS not a byproduct of carbon dioxide

    One can expect former Gov. Martin O'Malley to develop ludicrous postulates to garner the support of the radical left. The Sun may support Mr. O'Malley's bid for the presidency, but to promote a hypothesis that ISIS is an outcome of global warming is beyond the pale of credibility ("ISIS and climate...

  • How Baltimore might rise

    How Baltimore might rise

    As a longtime activist of Baltimore, I am tired of the same old, same old. I keep asking myself, "What keeps me here?" Will the racist and classist ways we rebuild our cities continue with a public transcript of "gentrification benefits everyone" even while rents continue to increase, pushing black...

Comments
Loading
82°