Two Views: internet commerce

Shay: Online sales tax a needed boost for states and nation’s economy
Ross D. Franklin

Shay: Online sales tax a needed boost for states and nation’s economy

With Congress back for its lame duck session, there’s an issue that has been lingering for more than 20 years that needs to finally be resolved — requiring online merchants to collect sales tax the same as local stores.

It was 1992 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that online sellers could only be required to collect sales tax in states where they had a physical presence such as their headquarters, a store, warehouse or office.

The court said sales tax laws and regulations across the country were too complex for a seller to know what tax to collect otherwise.

At the time, the ruling hardly mattered.

You Say: Letters To The Editor

Forget golf, give Decker a park; Post signs for park’s footpaths

Forget golf, give Decker a park

Re: Nov. 20 editorial, “Golf project should be up to voters.”

Thankfully the Austin City Council has postponed the vote on two new water-consuming golf courses in the Decker Lake area, and the editorial calls for more discussion and, ultimately, an Austin city vote on the issue before development is approved.


Two Views: internet commerce

Shughart: Harry Reid’s tax-raising ploy is a political bamboozle

Shughart: Harry Reid’s tax-raising ploy is a political bamboozle

U.S. Internet commerce has grown dramatically over the past decade, from about $93 billion in 2003 to some $322 billion in 2013.

Several factors have driven this growth: Convenience, access to products that aren’t always available locally and, frankly, the desire to save money, since online purchases from sellers in other states generally are sales-tax free.


From the Left

Commentary: Closing state jails should be on Legislature’s agenda

Texas boasts both more people behind bars than any other state and one of the nation’s highest incarceration rates, an impressive feat in a country that locks up more of its citizens than any nation in history. We have come to rely on incarceration as a quick, but costly, response for nearly every social issue we face from mental illness to addiction to homelessness.

From the Right

Ginn: Imagine Texas without property taxes

Budgeting annually for the uncertain cost of paying property taxes is stressful.

Imagine not having to worry about mortgage payments fluctuating from changes in property tax rates or subjective property valuations determined by a county’s tax appraiser.

This dream could be a reality if state legislators swapped local property taxes for a reformed sales tax.

Others Say

Manier: Thanksgiving prodding can help college applicants make choices

There’s an old line of thinking in the college admission world: Get families of high school juniors and seniors talking about your school at the Thanksgiving table.

After all, Thanksgiving, the most collegiate of all holidays — what with those football games and the bucolic autumn-ness of it all — is prime college application time. And the Thanksgiving table is ripe for meaningful (or, more commonly, tense) conversations about the future of a soon-to-be college freshman.


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