One of the ongoing problems many state legislatures are facing is the fact that most of us buy crap from the Internet, and while we are supposed to admit on our tax forms that we owe them money, we almost never do.
Colorado tried to do it by forcing Amazon to turn over customer records, which failed. So New York State stopped dicking around and has just flat out ordered Amazon to start collecting sales tax for them.
Needless to say, Amazon is less than enthused by the concept and has gone to court to keep their sales advantage. Unfortunately, New York’s highest court has disagreed with them:
The case, combining two brought by Amazon and Overstock.com Inc, was decided by the New York State Court of Appeals by a vote of 4-1.
“It’s unfortunate and the (U.S.) Supreme Court ought to look at this,” Overstock acting Chief Executive Jonathan Johnson told Reuters by phone.
“We have states saying different things,” he said, citing a ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court that a similar tax was not permissible.
They’re not kidding about dragging the Supreme Court into this, either: As there are conflicting rulings on the state level about this, with some states like New Jersey and California collecting sales tax and some that aren’t, that’s generally when Roberts and the crew weigh in.
Yes, the supreme court in all the land is actually going to spend your taxpayer dollars to listen to whether or not to collect more of your taxpayer dollars for buying stuff online. Likely they will hear it just in time for most of us to essentially stop buying physical objects on the Internet and just trade data back and forth, but, hey, it’s the thought that counts.