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 would Republicans fight climate change?

    How would Republicans fight climate change?

    Republican presidential candidates who embrace short-term thinking will indeed denounce President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan in the strongest terms ("Obama's power plant rules can work," Aug. 3), but those who think long-term will remember the advice of the late Republican Congressman and...

  • Fee for ambulance ride is a mistake

    Fee for ambulance ride is a mistake

    I am writing in response to your editorial of July 22, "Ambulance fee, finally." In your editorial you comment about the decision by Baltimore County to begin charging a fee for emergency medical services and how it is long overdue.

  • EXIM limbo will hurt small businesses

    EXIM limbo will hurt small businesses

    I agree wholeheartedly with your July 27 editorial, "Revive Export-Import Bank," which rightly points out just how misguided it would be to sacrifice exports and jobs, as you wrote, "for the sake of laissez-faire purity." It is outrageous that House Republican leaders broke for recess without bringing...

  • Obama rewards criminals and stiffs law-abiding Americans

    Obama rewards criminals and stiffs law-abiding Americans

    President Barack Obama's effort to reward criminals by offering them Pell Grants is yet another reason why this country is going backward and is completely out of control! ("Obama Cabinet officials in Jessup to announce Pell grants for inmates," July 31.)

  • Is Verizon's anti-Baltimore bias legal?

    Is Verizon's anti-Baltimore bias legal?

    Verizon has persistently refused to bring FiOS to Baltimore, despite providing service to surrounding suburbs ("Baltimore remains a fiber desert,http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-broadband-letter-20150730-story.html July 30). If broadband service now comes under the...

  • Baltimore must build something positive in the jail's place

    Baltimore must build something positive in the jail's place

    Gov. Larry Hogan's decision to close the Baltimore City jail was bold, but a good one ("Closing Baltimore's jail," Aug. 1).

Comments
Loading
73°