Online sales tax collections won’t benefit us locally

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

By Daniel Wise

Chair of the Pearl River County Libertarian Party

The Mississippi Department of Revenue has announced they will begin collecting internet “sales” tax from out of state retailers beginning December 1.

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They used a combination of administrative procedures and legal maneuvering to put this in place. entered into a secret agreement with the Department of Revenue back in February to start collecting use tax on all sales into the state. To this date we still do not know what percentage Amazon gets to keep out of this before remitting to the state. 

Many proponents of this move believe that it will assist us locally. They mistakenly believe the  7 percent “use” tax collected by the State will funnel back to our local communities. This is true for sales tax, but not the case in this scenario.

Any taxes collected by the state from online retailers will be classified “Use Tax” and will go into the state’s general fund and not be diverted back to our local cities and county. Also unbeknownst to most is that any products ordered online and delivered to local stores (Walmart, Target, etc) are also lumped into the use tax designation.

Amazingly enough the Mississippi Department of Revenue is moving forward with this plan despite the 1992 Supreme court case Quill Corp V. North Dakota which found this very practice illegal. Expect expensive legal challenges to Mississippi’s attempt. Recent similar attempts by both Alabama and South Dakota were challenged are currently moving through the court systems. More wasted tax payer monies.

What makes this even more disturbing is that we have unelected officials (appointed officials) arbitrarily imposing taxation without representation upon the citizens of our state. We should demand immediate action and investigation from our local State representatives.