Minnesota Republicans float strange ideas about online sales tax collection

steve drazkowski.JPG
Drazkowski wants online sales tax revenue to go toward a tax holiday for guns.
Currently, very few Minnesotans pay sales taxes for online purchases. But Minnesotans do pay sales taxes for purchases they make at physical retail locations. Hence, physical retail locations face a more onerous tax burden than online retailers like Amazon.

State lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are now interested in leveling this disparity. For years, state legislators have hoped the U.S. Congress would approve legislation forcing online retailers to collect state sales taxes, but it still doesn't look like that will happen any time soon. A solution will have to come from the state level.

So Republicans now face a dilemma. On one hand, forcing companies like Amazon to collect state sales taxes helps local retailers like Target and Best Buy, which is good. But on the other hand, GOPers have an instinctual revulsion against any and all taxes hikes. So in recent days Republican lawmakers have started floating some strange ideas about how to deal with the online sales tax issue.

One of them is the brainchild of Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa. Drazkowski apparently has no problem with forcing online retailers to collect state sales taxes, which could reap as much as $5 million for the state next year alone. What's strange is what Drazkowski proposes to do with the tax money.

"My preference is for an outdoors, guns and ammo holiday," Drazkowski said during a committee meeting on Tuesday. In other words, aside from retailers Target and Best Buy, the true beneficiaries of beefed-up online sales tax regulations would be Minnesota hunters.
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Downey wants to exempt all retailers from collecting online sales taxes.


Another strange idea is the brainchild of Rep. Keith Downey, R-Edina. Rather than having more sales tax money flowing into the state's coffers, Downey, like many other Republicans, wants less. Toward that end, he proposes that all retailers be exempted from collecting sales tax for online sales, including companies like Target and Best Buy.

But this is a self-defeating proposal. Why would anyone in their right mind pay 7 percent sales tax to buy a TV at a Target big-box store when they can buy the same product from the same company online for less? The big losers in that scenario would be employees at Target's retail locations, who could lose their jobs as more sales tax-free business is done online.

Brian Steinhoff, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association, told the Stribe that Downey's proposal "seems to exacerbate the problem even more."

Apparently, this is what happens when Republicans find themselves in the unusual position of supporting a tax increase. Stay tuned to see what our GOPers think up next.

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17 comments
Stop
Stop

Didn't any of these idiots have a civics class?  States have no power to tax interstate commerce.  This was specifically delegated to Congress in the constitution to avoid states imposing crazy tariffs on each other.  You can't charge sales tax for interstate commerce if there's no actual presence of the retailer in the state.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

These dipsh*ts proposals are dead.  Even with some support from the tax and spend democrats, they still don't have enough votes to pass this.

Hard Rock Miner
Hard Rock Miner

For those fools that want to pay more taxes (Warren Buffett) go ahead!  You can write off any "donation" you choose to voluntarily give our bloated government.  For those that pay no taxes, how ridiculous is that!  At least a "token" amount should be paid to show they appreciate all of the unearned money, low income housing, free insurance, food stamps etc.they are benefitting from receiving from those that support them INVOLUNTARILY,

Hard Rock Miner
Hard Rock Miner

Regarding the "no new taxes" mantra of the right, of which I am more right than left-Reduce gov't spending by 20% next year.  All of it, except of course necessary entitlements (earned) social security and medicare for the elderly.  My mine cut our hours from 40 to 32 hours per week a few years ago.  Our union voted to have a 20% cut in pay rather than lay anyone off.  After a month, everyone loved it.  We got used to the small cut in pay and enjoyed the time off.  There is nothing in gov't so important that they can't do the same and get used to it.  As an aside, for every new law they make, they should have to remove 2.

HotLunch
HotLunch

The whole thing sucks. Find a real solution that benefits everyone already! How anyone can call themselves "progressive" when all they rant about is "more taxes" is beyond me. Most self identified "progressives" should actually reconsider their monicker as they're actually "regressives".

ludwigtr
ludwigtr

Jobs...Jobs....Jobs....wait....?

Basia
Basia

You know Walmart is cheaper too.  I have never and will never shop at a Walmart.  Cheaper is not usually better.   Support your local businesses people, if you can't or won't, at least a sales tax will help to level the playing field.

Basia
Basia

All online sales should be taxed at whatever amount the state the item is shipped to has for a sales tax.  This is a no brainer.  The advantage online "non-retail" businesses have is putting mom and pop out of business. I would much rather see that tax paid forcefully by law than ignored by 99% of those that lazily shop online.   I rarely shop online even though I live in a very small town with limited choices.  No tax online sales are no different than buying goods made in China.  It benefits no one I know or care about.

Research
Research

I like online because of no sales tax.  And because i have a car so having someone deliver a large item is nice.  And because they are more knowledgeable with products.  And because it's no hassle to return like a store.  And because the product itself is cheaper.  And because BB has employees lie to me about a product to make the sale.

green23
green23

 You mean like the oil companies, who receive several billion in "handouts" every year but pay no federal taxes?

Nah, the problem is that some people (disabled and elderly) selfishly want to eat and have a roof over their heads.

amiller92
amiller92

No one pays "no taxes."  Some people pay no federal income tax.  The vast majority of those people are retired people who do not work and the very poor.

But everyone pays sales tax and everyone who works pays payroll taxes, which for the working poor can add up to higher percentages of their income than marginal income tax rates.

Skyebyrd1951
Skyebyrd1951

I am disabled and it is a Godsend to be able to choose a gift or get something I really need online. I am not being "LAZY"

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

You forgot to mention "the poor" file tax returns and get tax rebates and oodles of free goods and services.I know people that get more back from the government in "tax rebates" than their gross income for the year.  All it takes is a child or two...

green23
green23

How do you imagine that "unproven" technology gets "proven"?

Oil is a pretty "proven" technology. One can only wonder why it needs subsidies. Or "subsidiarity", even.

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