Sarcastic letter about Eide and sales tax | Federal Way letters
October 21, 2010 · Updated 5:12 PM
I would like to publicly thank Tracey Eide for sponsoring something known as "destination based sales tax." This is of course part of a complex scheme that the state of Washington has engaged in to finally be able to collect sales taxes on goods purchased from outside of the state. (They are trying this in spite of the fact that the U.S. Constitution specifically prohibits any tax or fee on goods exported from one state to another.)
Destination based sales taxes means that I charge sales taxes based on where the customer is, not where my business is located. I own a small web-based business and use PayPal to receive payments. I have no way to find out what the proper tax is for any customer. I have to charge a different rate for Spokane than Pasco, and Richland is different yet. A pizza delivery business has to charge a different rate if they deliver to Fife than if they deliver to Milton. Even if the rates are the same, they have to pay different taxing agencies (Fife is not in the Lakehaven water and sewer district for example).
I would have to have custom software written to collect the proper tax at a cost of $2,000, and last year I think my total sales taxes collected for the state was $187. Now that is a good investment.
The state does provide a spreadsheet to help businesses look up the correct tax rate based on ZIP code. It is ZIP plus 4, and only has 35,000 lines, oh, and I only have to update that once a quarter.
To be fair, Tracey claims that local businesses have asked for this. According to Tracey Eide, people are buying online to avoid paying sales taxes causing local businesses to operate at a disadvantage. I prefer to buy locally where I can actually see the product before I buy, avoid paying shipping and handling (usually about the same as sales taxes), easily return a purchase when necessary, etc. I never buy online to avoid sales taxes all else being equal. I have my doubts about the truthfulness of Tracey's claim (I think she made it up).
I admire Tracey. No respect for the U.S. Constitution that she has sworn to uphold, a complete inability to control her spending as a state senator, and she inflicts deep pain on small businesses so she can maintain her spending spree.
Thanks again Tracey, I appreciate it.
Paul R. Stone, Federal Way