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


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


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.


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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