Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Business

October 24, 2011

E-commerce raises question of sales tax fairness

NORMAL, Ill. — Dick Smith thrives on competition. At 69, he braved the heat and sandstorms of the Saharan desert to compete against rivals half his age this summer on ABC’s adventure reality show, “Expedition Impossible.”

Smith was edged out before he could reach the finish line, but the retired Army Ranger felt he’d been in a fair fight. He doesn’t say the same for the small-store business climate to which he returned and relies on for his livelihood.

Smith contends his outdoor-gear store in this central Illinois college town is forced to play by unfair tax rules that compel him to add almost 8 percent in sales tax to a customer's bill, but exclude his online competitors from the same burden.

“I have people come in here all the time who tell me they can get their gear cheaper online,” Smith said. “When I have to add on that sales tax, it isn't tough math to do.”

Smith is among a growing chorus of bricks-and-mortar small businesses protesting what they see as tax law inequities driving them to the brink by requiring they collect and remit sales taxes while their electronic counterparts prosper through tax-free goods and services.

Studies show more than 1 of every 4 dollars in purchases covered by sales taxes go uncollected in the U.S. because of online transactions, adding up to an estimated $12 billion annually in lost revenue, according to the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Tennessee.

The biggest beneficiaries are Amazon, eBay, Overstock and other giant online retailers that operate almost entirely in cyberspace. But there are also a multitude of smaller Internet businesses that reap the rewards of tax-free commerce. They object to collecting sales taxes because of the varied rates and exemption rules across the country.

Text Only
Business
  • nws - bv041114 - Transforming economy (speaker) Entrepreneurs must be nurtured Purdue University leaders have a theory. If Indiana has more entrepreneurs, its economy will be healthier. In the April 3 workshop "Transforming Your Local and Regional Economy" at the Batesville library, Dr. Michael Wilcox, Purdue Extension Economic

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv040814 - Transforming economy (group) Intriguing economic numbers offered About a dozen attendees had to guess the answers to four tough questions during "Transforming Your Local and Regional Economy," an April 3 workshop at the Batesville library presented by Lionel "Bo" Beaulieu, Purdue Center for Regional Development di

    April 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • biz - bv040114 - shopko donation to imagination library Imagination Library receives grant The Shopko Foundation Community Grant Program recently awarded a grant to the Imagination Library of Franklin County for the purpose of purchasing quality books for preschool-aged children from birth until age 5, thus providing each child enrolled w

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dearborn County Hospital adds nocturnists Dearborn County Hospital will expand its Hospitalist program in April to provide seven-day-a-week, around-the-clock, in-hospital physician care for hospitalized patients, according to a press release. Hospitalists (hospital medicine physicians) and n

    March 25, 2014

  • Indiana chamber officials examine academic standards Indiana Chamber of Commerce officials have taken a comprehensive look at academic standards in the state and beyond, producing suggestions to help elevate Indiana's well-regarded standards to an even higher level, said Rebecca Patrick, public relatio

    March 25, 2014

  • Advisers praise Edward Jones For the 19th time, the financial services firm Edward Jones ranked No. 1 in the WealthManagement.com./REP.magazine annual survey of the nation's six largest financial services firms, said spokesperson Regina DeLuca-Imral. There are four financial ad

    March 25, 2014

  • Dempsey joins Hill-Rom board William Dempsey has been elected to the Hill-Rom Holdings Inc. board of directors. He serves as a director of Landauer Inc., Nordion Inc. and Hospira, Inc. and previously held various executive positions with Abbott Laboratories, including global pha

    March 25, 2014

  • biz - bv032514 - Hamm, Duke Hamm receives several awards Hoosier Duke Hamm took away several honors at the annual Brian Tracy FocalPoint Coaches Conference Feb. 19-21 in San Diego, according to Sarah Morehouse of Morehouse Communication. This educational and celebratory event brought fellow FocalPoint busi

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws - bv032514 - Bedel, Elaine Bedel receives 'Enterprising Women' award Former Batesville resident Elaine (Kops) Bedel, CFP®, was a recipient of the 2014 Enterprising Women of the Year Award presented by "Enterprising Women" magazine March 4 in Sarasota, Fla., according to corporate writer Shari Held. Hundreds of outsta

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MMH accepts many insurance plans "Margaret Mary Health is committed to serving all families in our community, including those receiving insurance through the health insurance exchanges/marketplace," said communications specialist Becky Walter. Since October 2013, individuals and fam

    March 25, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1 Hoax Bomb Raises Anxiety in Boston Egypt Clamps Down on Mosques to Control Message After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Ex-California City Leader Gets 12 Year Sentence Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Facebook