Unlimited Access. Try it Today! Your First 10 Days Always $0.99

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
  • Common-sense legislation on undocumented workers

    Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa recently introduced legislation that would require employers to verify the eligibility of people to work in the U.S.

  • Police must show respect
    Police must show respect

    Having worked very closely with the Baltimore City homicide squad in the early 1970s, I was impressed by the professional demeanor of the officers as they underwent the often gruesome duties of investigating murders and catching those responsible. Even individuals suspected of being serial killers...

  • Discuss end-of-life decisions while you're still healthy
    Discuss end-of-life decisions while you're still healthy

    We recently started a community conversation regarding the use of advanced directives in Howard County, so Jason Lieborwitz's recent commentary "Don't wait until it's too late to discuss your medical care" (April 22) was a very timely read.

  • Cardin right to support Israel
    Cardin right to support Israel

    In reading Yousef Munayyer's commentary ("Cardin, don't tie U.S. hands for Israel," April 21), a number of specious statements struck me as mandating a response.

  • Cheers to an act of sportsmanship
    Cheers to an act of sportsmanship

    With all that's wrong in today's world, the story about the run scored by the high school baseball player with autism helps to put life back into perspective ("Mount Carmel's Robbie Long scores his first run, with a little help from Friends," April 22).

  • For Earth Day, turn off the engine
    For Earth Day, turn off the engine

    I loved your Earth Day commentary and would like to suggest one more easy way we can help the environment: Let's have "No Idle" zones ("A Maryland-style Earth Day pledge," April 21).

Comments
Loading

63°