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Sales tax invasion: Retailers drafted as tax collecters

June 24. 2018 10:45PM

Having shown the wisdom of avoiding a broadbased sales tax, New Hampshire could soon be under siege from 12,000 governments trying to collect sales taxes from our businesses.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week upheld South Dakota’s law requiring online retailers across the country to collect and remit sales taxes on purchases shipped to South Dakota. Most companies won’t reach the annual sales thresholds that trigger automatic collection, but they would still have to start tracking sales in every sales tax jurisdiction.

As Justice John Roberts argued in his dissent, “The burden will fall disproportionately on small businesses.”

Congress has constitutional authority, and responsibility, to regulate interstate commerce. States drafting companies outside their jurisdiction as unwilling tax collectors violates this principle.

Online giant Amazon already operates in most states, and already collects sales taxes. It stands to benefit greatly as its competitors struggle to comply with potentially thousands of sales tax laws.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has led opposition to online sales taxes across state lines. Overturning the court’s decision is an uphill climb when 90 senators represent states looking to boost their sales tax revenues.

Gov. Chris Sununu says he wants to protect New Hampshire businesses from the consequences of this flawed decision. We hope he finds a way.

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