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Readers React: Make online retailers pay taxes in their home states — no matter where their customers live

(Alex Brylov / Getty Images)

To the editor: Your print headline, “Online buyers must pay taxes,” should have read, “Online sellers must pay taxes.” (“Make online retailers collect taxes,” editorial, April 19)

Think about it: If I’m on vacation in Arizona and buy something there, I pay Arizona sales tax, not the sales tax of my home community. I sell handcrafted jewelry in local shops and at artisan fairs, and I am planning to sell online. But my gross sales are tiny, and the check I send to Sacramento for sales taxes each year is less than $100.

This is what makes sense to me: Online shoppers will be coming to my “store,” so the sales tax should be collected where my “store” originates — the computer in my home. Then I, the seller, won’t need to buy “sophisticated software” to send minute amounts of sales taxes to multiple states.

Diane Scholfield, Vista

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To the editor: Why is the Supreme Court involved in this? I respectfully propose the following:

  • Any company that engages in interstate commerce shall collect an administrative fee on the gross amounts of all purchases, unless the shipping address for the purchase is in a state that does not assess a sales tax.
  • If the company is located in a state that does not assess a sales tax, this administrative fee shall still be collected for purchases made from and shipped to a state that does collect a sales tax.
  • Records shall be kept, for each state, of the amounts of administrative fees that are collected.
  • On a quarterly basis, the collected fees from the various states shall be disbursed to the treasuries of those states.

Problem solved. Congress would need to enact a law to collect the fees and to have them shipped to the receiving states.
Jay James, Pico Rivera

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To the editor: You write, “There’s no reason to treat a shopper who buys a book online differently from one who visits a bookstore down the street.”

Yes, there is. The books and other products I buy from mail order catalogs and online are not available in local retail stores.

Trust me, I would buy everything from nearby brick-and-mortar businesses if I could. I’ve recently been deceived by online misrepresentation of products that are not returnable.

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Just do away with local and state sales taxes, pass a national sales tax and end this nonsense.

Kathy Musial, Pasadena

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