Why sales tax on internet sales will not save local retail

30 Apr

Remember that Yahoo! commercial about the family living in the Alaskan bush, all sitting around their igloo, depressed? And then Dad gets on the computer and buys them a hot tub? Ya-HOOOOO! Etc.

I thought that was a cute commercial, but I never dreamed I’d be buying anything online. The first thing I considered was shipping charges, the second thing, what if it doesn’t fit/doesn’t work/just plain doesn’t show up? 

Well, whattya know, fast forward to the year 2013, and I am buying just about everything but groceries on the computer. Even shoes, and they FIT!

The main reason? Chico doesn’t have what I want, at a price I can afford. I can afford WalMart, but Walmart shoes suck, okay? I buy shoes that would sell for probably $60, online for about $40. Frankly, Chico doesn’t have a decent shoe store. Big 5 is okay, but it’s very limited, especially for women.  That’s the main reason I shop online – the retail scene in Chico is very poor. 

While I have found some online vendors who don’t charge sales tax, I shop alot through Amazon.com and also through various California vendors that do take the tax. And if not, it’s a really simple matter to pay the rest on my California Franchise tax form. I think the grand whopping total this year was $49 – that’s seven orders from Lucky Vitamin, where I get most of my household goods.  That’s nothing compared to what I saved by buying through Lucky Vitamin – for example, I get a 21 ounce bottle of my fave mouthwash for the same price I’d pay for the 14 ounce bottle at Raley’s here in town.  A bar of soap that costs almost $5 at Raley’s goes for $2.41. And, like I’ve raved before – they have bigger sizes, more “flavors”, and more choices all the way around. It’s BETTER shopping online.

The local stores and vendors are screwing themselves by gouging. They have too much overhead, and that’s not my fault.  It’s not just the “brick and mortar” that costs them money – again, it’s the salaries, pensions and benefits. I know a guy who works at Raley’s, and I’m tired of paying for his medical and dental when I can’t afford my own. I shop at WalMart because I know those people aren’t living any better or worse than I am.

Last night on MacNeil News Hour, Judy interviewed a guy from e-bay and a lady from the retailers’ association. When Judy asked the lady if she knew how much retail goes over the internet, the lady flustered and blustered and said, “I don’t have that figure, but I know it’s going to double…” Well, e-bay guy had the figure – 6 percent. Big fucking deal, my fine Aztec warriors! Oh no! It might double to 12 percent! Call out the Marines! 

In a story on the network news, they equated shopping online out of state with TAX EVASION!

Of course, these people just assume we don’t pay. Like they assume we cheat on our taxes all the way around. 

Well, one thing I know, the states can go after sales tax, but the city of Chico hasn’t got the wherewithall to pay their own bills, much less, hire a (real) lawyer and go after every online vendor in the greater 48. I will pay my California sales tax, but I will be cutting the city of Chico out of the deal. That, and the ridiculous savings I get online, are good enough for me.

 

 

 

 

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