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Letter to the Editor: the State Simplification Tax Project is a crime against logic


Dear Editor,
I understand that in the name of simplification, a group of cash-strapped states is proposing the Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP). The goal of the SSTP is supposed to be simplification but it does not succeed in simplifying state and local tax laws sufficiently to ease the collection burden on internet or eBay sellers.
The State Simplification Tax Project (SSTP) is a crime against logic. It does not reduce the 7,600 different state, county and city taxing jurisdictions. The SSTP allows for a different rate for each zip code. Nearly 49,000 different jurisdictions.
Small business owners will be disadvantaged by a distant sales tax collection regime that forces them (and me) to comply with thousands of different tax rates, local laws, filing instructions, and audit procedures.
This will place me at a competitive disadvantage. My offline competitors being only required to collect and remit taxes in one jurisdiction would then be awarded unfair advantages. This could force tens of thousands of Internet businesses like mine to shut down.
The Congress is being asked to subsidize the Sears and JC Penney catalog business. There should be no increased tax burden on small business.
Now is not the time to impose new tax burdens on American consumers and small business owners, or do anything to hamper the growth of e-commerce.
R. Bruce Johnson, Utah State Tax Commissioner, is a ‘Co-Chair’ for Streamlined Sales Tax Project. Doesn’t he have enough work to do without having to try to throw Americans out of work?

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