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Online sales tax heads vote

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 11:34 AM
Last updated 7:24 PM
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ATLANTA — Georgia consumers could soon be paying a sales tax on items they buy online from websites based in the state under legislation heading for a vote in the House Ways and Means Committee.

The added money from it would be used to restore tax-free shopping days for parents buying school supplies.

A subcommittee held a hearing Tuesday morning on House Bill 993 that would only tap about one-tenth of the online sales, according to industry estimates. That would generate about $18 million which would be entirely offset in the sales-tax holiday, resulting on no additional revenue for the state, according to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Matt Ramsey, R-Peachtree City.

“Make no mistake, this is a big deal,” he said.

The bill doesn’t tax all transactions, only those conducted through websites based in Georgia and considered “affiliates” of the national retailers. An affiliate gets a commission for sales generated from ads on their sites.

He compared shopping with an affiliate to buying a car from a dealer who orders it from the manufacturer rather than selling it out of a local inventory. The car dealer would still collect the sales tax.

Rick McAllister, president of the Georgia Retail Association, said traditional, “brick and mortar” merchants have been at a disadvantage in competing with the affiliates because consumers see a 7 percent price difference since the tax isn’t included.

“We could fill this room with your friends, your neighbors, who are suffering under this inequity,” he said.

The association is eager to see Congress enact legislation establishing a nationwide system for collecting state sales taxes on all online transactions, but that proposal has been pending for years with no immediate signs of passage. In the meantime, he supports Ramsey’s plan.

“This is a giant, first step,” McAllister said.

Home Depot already collects the sales tax from its online sales and supports the bill.

However, Greg Hoffman, an Internet marketing consultant and member of the Performance Marketing Association, said the bill would harm 6,000 small-business owners who serve as affiliates.

“The problem with this bill is, if this bill passed, probably 1,000 online merchants will sever their relationship with affiliates,” he said.

Gov. Nathan Deal told members of the Georgia Press Association last month he was considering similar legislation. While the governor didn’t sponsor HB 993, Ramsey said Deal supports it.

Subcommittee Chairman Ben Harbin, R-Evans, said the panel will vote on the measure at its next meeting, setting up consideration before the full Ways and Means Committee in time for the bill to get it to the entire House before the March 7 Crossover Day deadline.

Comments (16) Add comment
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my.voice
4726
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my.voice 02/28/12 - 01:05 pm
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Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax

Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax Tax

gaflyboy
4677
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gaflyboy 02/28/12 - 01:12 pm
0
0
And more Tax

And more Tax

TParty
6003
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TParty 02/28/12 - 01:21 pm
0
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Did someone say more taxes?

Did someone say more taxes?

seenitB4
85289
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seenitB4 02/28/12 - 04:45 pm
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Kinda knew this was

Kinda knew this was coming.....

IsAmericaFree
47
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IsAmericaFree 02/28/12 - 05:28 pm
0
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So does this mean if this

So does this mean if this passes, the tax free holidays will come back?

Little Lamb
45281
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Little Lamb 02/28/12 - 05:52 pm
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We'll have to shift our

We'll have to shift our purchases to out-of-state businesses and web sites. They won't charge the sales tax.

seenitB4
85289
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seenitB4 02/28/12 - 06:05 pm
0
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Dang LLamb...you just gave

Dang LLamb...you just gave the secret out.....now they will ALL jump the state line.:)

dichotomy
32020
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dichotomy 02/28/12 - 06:05 pm
0
1
Maybe the guy that bootlegs

Maybe the guy that bootlegs my smokes can expand to retail middleman.

fedex227
11168
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fedex227 02/28/12 - 09:14 pm
0
0
What a difference a year
Unpublished

What a difference a year makes …

Savannahnow.com January 28, 2011 - 9:39am
ATLANTA - Gov. Nathan Deal says he'd veto any stand-alone bills to raise taxes… "We're not going to sign anything that is a tax increase ... in this climate, no matter how well intentioned it is," Deal said. …He said Thursday he would be more likely to support a package that includes measures, such as reductions in income and corporate taxes - which he says would spur economic growth and jobs.

GaStang22
910
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GaStang22 02/29/12 - 02:15 am
1
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I thought it already worked
Unpublished

I thought it already worked that way?? I know when I buy online It says on most sites if one of their stores is located in GA sales tax is charged, I would assume that means stores based here too. If I buy from a site that is not located here, sometimes they don't charge. Then you have sites you buy from from other states not located here that charge tax, and I doubt they are paying tax in all states. Pardon my confusion on the subject, but what am I missing? Is it not required right now and some do it because they choose to?

bdouglas
4899
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bdouglas 02/29/12 - 09:19 am
0
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GaStang: My thoughts exactly.

GaStang: My thoughts exactly. Every place I buy from online collects sales tax from states that they have a physical presence within, including ones in Georgia. I don't see what the change is? Maybe they weren't forced to collected it before and just paid it from their profits to save the trouble? I don't see that being the case, though.

Not sure what the fuss is. Residents should've been paying this tax all along (and as myself and 'GaStang' observed, have already been largely) and have just been lucky not to have to. This will happen in every state before long. I don't like it, either, but it's the right thing to do.

Little Lamb
45281
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Little Lamb 02/29/12 - 09:28 am
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0
I would guess that at least

I would guess that at least 90% of the legislators will not understand the ramifications of this bill.

Little Lamb
45281
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Little Lamb 02/29/12 - 09:33 am
0
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Walter Jones wrote: The bill

Walter Jones wrote:

The bill doesn’t tax all transactions, only those conducted through websites based in Georgia and considered “affiliates” of the national retailers.

Going back to what Seenit said, why would not a Georgia retailer that sells from a web site not just move their web hosting servers to Phenix City, or North Augusta, or Chattanooga, or Jacksonville and avoid the hassle of collecting sales tax and sending it to Atlanta?

allhans
23523
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allhans 02/29/12 - 09:46 am
0
0
All my on-line purchases

All my on-line purchases during the holidays had sales tax added with the exception of some marine socks that I bought through ebay. Looks like someone in Atlanta don't have their facts together..

JRC2024
8512
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JRC2024 02/29/12 - 10:18 am
0
0
If everyone were doing their

If everyone were doing their state taxes right you are supposed to report the out of state purchases such as tv, computers and any other item to the state and pay the tax. I doubt that any do that. It is like buying a car in another state. The tax is waved and paid when you title the car in Georgia. SC does collect $300.00 keeps it and GA credits you with that amount. That is the way it used to be and I think still is.

Little Lamb
45281
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Little Lamb 02/29/12 - 10:34 am
0
0
Yeah, JRC, we common citizens

Yeah, JRC, we common citizens are supposed to pay sales taxes voluntarily when buying by mail order and the vendor does not collect them. But most of us do not. That is one of the beauties of buying mail order — no sales taxes (unless, like Allhans, you buy from sears.com or walmart.com or radioshack.com, etc.). Take a look at your last Amazon.com shipping invoice — no sales taxes paid. It's that way with most retailers.

itsanotherday1
41948
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itsanotherday1 02/29/12 - 11:17 am
0
0
If the retailer has an outlet

If the retailer has an outlet in your state, tax is collected. Seriously though, I suppose it is fair enough to collect the tax for the state you live in; even though it will hit me hard (I purchased so much through Amazon they sent me a $50 gift card)

Link To Georgia Use Tax requirements: http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2976630/GEORGIA-USE-TAX-OUT-OF-STATE-PURCHAS...

bdouglas
4899
Points
bdouglas 02/29/12 - 03:25 pm
0
0
LL: Amazon now sends you a

LL: Amazon now sends you a 'receipt' around tax time showing you how much you spent there in the tax year and links to info on why and how you have to pay use tax. My damage this year was about $3600 in purchases from them. I did do the right thing and paid my use tax, though. This is the first year they ever sent anything out like that (to me anyway). Makes me wonder if states have pressured them to do so in order to get some of the tax revenue back...or if it was a concession to SC for not making them collect sales tax in order to get them to keep their building plans in my state. It's harder for someone to claim they didn't know about it when they get a reminder from Amazon. Probably pressures a few people into paying who may not have otherwise.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 02/29/12 - 08:27 pm
0
0
Thanks bdouglas, glad I'm not
Unpublished

Thanks bdouglas, glad I'm not the only one! lol

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