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Washington State Citizens Beware: Government double speak!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Will Rice has written an article to/for the Seattle PI that we need to be aware of. We need to read between the lines of his article. He is making the case that our State is losing enormous amounts of money to inter-state commerce. If we look more closely at the subject of this article, we see that our State, as well as many others, are trying to find a way to get the Federal Government to grant "Commerce Clause waivers" to allow states to enter into State-to-State tax-treaties. It's all part of a program known as the "Simplified Sales Tax Project". This article isn't about Washington State losing tax moneys to inter-state internet sales. It's about getting deeper into our pockets. It's a propaganda piece to help justify a "new" tax on internet sales. Lets take a look at Will Rice's article, especially the last paragraph of his article...

"Let's preserve the sales tax by ensuring that it can be simply collected on all sales in Washington. Let's level the playing field for all businesses so they compete on price and quality, not tax advantage. That's the fair thing to do." (emphasis added)

Mr. Rice, would that be the same "fair thing" that Boeing gets in tax incentives? Shame on you! The last person I would listen to about "fair" in the world of taxation would be the director of Internal Revenue. It's not your job to be concerned with "fair". Your job is tax enforcement. I continue...

"Nationally, the amount of tax lost from remote sales has been growing by 25 percent a year. During the next biennium, the state Department of Revenue projects that the state will lose $1 billion in taxes because of remote sales. That's 6 percent of total state and local tax collections."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you would have to have an annual tax income of $16,666,666,666.67 dollars for that last sentence to be true. Are you saying that the State of Washington pulls in $16.67 billion dollars annually in tax revenue? Where's all the money going? ( about a burden on the economy!) The following is a quote from the Washington State Constitution:



SECTION 1 TAXATION. The power of taxation shall never be suspended, surrendered or contracted away. All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of property within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax and shall be levied and collected for public purposes only. (emphasis added)

As I read that, I don't see where the State of Washington has jurisdiction or authority to reach into another state of the Union and demand that a "seller" fork over taxes imposed by our Internal Revenue laws (unless there exists a tax-treaty). Furthermore, it would be prudent for the State to quit giving "tax incentives" to every Tom, Dick, and Harry corporation that asks for one.


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