Online sales tax: A matter of fairness

While I certainly am not one to ask my government for additional taxes, I do like to see people and corporations paying their fair share under the current system. The online sales tax collection issue you referenced recently ("Franchot's mistake," Nov. 14) is a perfect example of large and powerful companies refusing do so. As a Maryland teacher who witnesses daily the budgetary shortfalls and gaps that negatively affect our schoolchildren, that rubs me the wrong way.

Likewise, I am angered by the failure of online travel companies such as Travelocity and Expedia to fully pay Maryland the sales and lodging taxes they collect. As pointed out by Gov. Martin O'Malley, it is patently unfair to allow these online corporations to continue collecting revenue masked as "sales taxes" and not remit these owed dollars to our state. Local hoteliers pay their share in sales and lodging taxes. The big online travel companies should as well.

Just as is the case with "remote" sales of goods, we should enforce our current laws and collect all existing revenue rightfully owed to the state before we pass additional budget cuts or tax increases. Maryland's schoolchildren can't afford to be deprived any further, and I, for one, as a teacher am unable to withstand any additional budget cuts. We simply cannot sit by and allow more cuts to be made when there is still potential tax revenue on the table to be had.

Emily Marsh, Annapolis

The author is an elementary school teacher in Anne Arundel County.

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