Mucking up marketplace fairness

The
MFA would make Internet retailers unpaid tax collectors for almost
10,000 governmental entities. It sets an arbitrary threshold for small
sellers doing $1 million or less in sales — not profits. Think about all
of the mom-and-pop shops who sell online. These are the Internet
entrepreneurs who have worked hard to provide a fair income for
themselves and their family, and this threshold does not protect them.

My
company would be one of those not protected. I employ between 15 and 20
people who work hard and enjoy working for a smaller, family-style
company. They help create, and share in, the profits of a creative and
nimble company that successfully plays by the rules and satisfies
customers.

The pretext is that local retailers are
being hurt because customers are buying products online instead of local
retail shops, because they don’t have to pay sales taxes. Yet people
buy online because it is more convenient, saves time and can be done
without restrictions of time or location. Generally, products on the
Internet can be easily compared for best price and availability, they
can be bought with a click and they don’t require gas or time to travel.

If
the MFA becomes law, I would immediately have to hire additional people
just to keep up with the programming, tax collection and verification
of paperwork, to ensure we don’t get threatened by a potential
out-of-state audit. Yet my company would be producing/selling no more as a
result of this, and our expenses would significantly increase. The
result would be less efficiency, higher expenses, possible layoffs and
higher prices.

Simply stated, the MFA is a money grab by
state governments in the pretext of making things fair, using
inefficient retailers as their stooges. I strongly urge U.S. Rep. James
Lankford to consider the damaging effects another needless tax will have
on Internet-based companies and technology-era entrepreneurs.

—Hal Stevens, Edmond

Hal Stevens

This material falls under the archives category because it was imported from our previous website. It will eventually be filtered into the proper category as time allows.

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