One legislator’s comments on why they voted in favor of Main Street this week, instead of against them.

In case you were living under a rock, the Governor had called a special session this week to change a couple of laws that would have delayed the state from collecting sales tax due from on-line sellers who were avoiding charging it.

Most all voted for it, but a few voted against it and are somehow claiming it was ‘conservative’ to vote for Amazon and others over their own Main Street merchants & constituents.

However – and I’ve certainly disagreed with her on a number of topics in the past – but State Representative Lynne DiSanto has one of the better explanations as to why she voted in favor of the state to collect it from the Amazon.com retailers of the world:

Thoughts?

39 Replies to “One legislator’s comments on why they voted in favor of Main Street this week, instead of against them.”

  1. Anonymous

    As farmers anything we buy out of state, the department of revenue has letter delivered before we even pick the equipment up. Everyone needs to pay, why just ag footing the bill all the time. She definitely hits a home run with the small businesses as well.
    If your chincing out on that bag of diapers or the tools you need for trade by ordering on line and not paying sales tax, you are not supporting your community or state.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I love Stace but he was wrong on this one.

      We are a nation of laws. Not paying taxes you are required to pay is even if you disagree with them is like the dems saying don’t prosecute illegals because we dont like the law.

      As a legislature they can work to repeal the taxes now if they want. That would be the conservative approach. Not just picking and choosing what laws someone should follow.

      Reply
  2. Cliff Hadley

    Going to be fascinating how this plays out. Two things interest me:

    1. Can the state enforce the new law? Seems like the Revenue Department will need a multitude of new people tasked with a mission that will grow a hundredfold overnight. Or will we have to depend on others’ goodwill? Because if out-of-state businesses can get away with it, they’ll sell under the table, so to speak.

    2. Meantime, what about in-state businesses that do business nationwide on the internet? Will they be able to afford the extra rules and regs of the tax regimes of two dozen other states that have copied South Dakota’s law? I think it may be more onerous on our own internet businesses than we think.

    Reply
    1. Michael L. Wyland

      Cliff:

      1) Automation will help a lot.
      2) The fact that other states will be gearing up to do the same thing will help a lot, as they can collaborate and as third parties can develop systems and solutions to sell to multiple states/clients.
      3) If all else fails, the largest online retailers will be scrutinized the most, helping assure that much of the sales tax revenue will be identified and ultimately collected.
      4) Nothing is certain in all instances, so there will be exceptions and hiccups along the way.

      Reply
      1. Cliff Hadley

        Thanks, Mr. Wyland. Still….

        My gut tells automation will identify the problems, but it will still take human follow-up. When Revenue did a routine audit on my wife’s and my store 15 years ago, the department agent planted himself in the back room going through seven years of files to find $6 a month we failed to pay in sales tax on a regular out-of-state purchase. I simply can’t imagine that thoroughness to collect from 1000s of retailers and service businesses nationwide. We’ll see.

        Also, we underestimate at our peril the cussedness of other states’ revenue departments, which can be counted on to harass South Dakota online retailers with a myriad of their indecipherable rules and regs. Heartburn.

        Reply
        1. duggersd

          Some years ago, about 30?, I worked for a company that sold satellite television to people with those big satellite dishes. Out company charged and paid sales tax to states and municipalities throughout the country. We had some sort of a program that had that all figured out. I suspect there are some companies out there that already have this available to any company that wants to purchase it. I really do not have a problem with requiring out of state companies to collect the same tax that in state companies are required to pay. The big question is whether with what is brought in, will the legislature decrease the increase of the sales tax that came about to pay teachers more. I do believe that was part of the promise.

          Reply
  3. Anonymous

    People will continue to buy online which was the bill of goods we were sold. There is no way a Store in rural SD can compete with the internet. The price is lower and the selection is huge. It’s just another tax.

    Reply
    1. duggersd

      People will continue to buy online because of the convenience of not having to jump in the car to get something. My daughter loves this kind of shopping. Her mom does not understand it. I think life is easier not to have to travel from store to store.

      Reply
  4. JKC

    Any good Republican knows that when you transfer money from the private sector to the public sector, that that is a tax increase.

    The use tax system might be the law with or without Wayfair, but its an unethical tax because it is not realistically enforceable nor known to the average citizen.

    Although, ignorance is not an excuse for not knowing the law, it is incumbent upon the State to inform citizens of laws that impact many, especially when that law is itself not realistically enforceable on its own and is dependent upon a honor system enforceability.

    Our state political leaders to little or no avail have gone to court concerning EB5 and GEAR-UP with no true results, but they did manage to go all the way to DC to the SCOTUS and figured out a way to raise our taxes…. Go figure….

    #ItsATaxIncrease

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Exactly, @ 10:21. This won’t change how anyone shops, except maybe driving people to less scrupulous sites that don’t collect the new tax.

    So the State is going to keep track of every website and expect a check from each one every year? Sounds like an accountability nightmare.

    The way I see it, the only thing being “used” in SD when I order online is the road that UPS uses to deliver the package to me, and I already pay taxes for those. I see no other reason why the State thinks they deserve a cut of something produced and warehoused elsewhere.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I’m sure revenue agencies across the country have been working to understand how this would be implemented since 1992 with Quill vs ND.

      I bet they have a lot of good ideas.

      Reply
  6. Anonymous

    This won’t solve the problem of people shopping on internet instead of main st. But store owners will be out one more excuse.

    Reply
  7. Lee Schoenbeck

    Amazing. Government not enforcing the law is applauded, even though it directly creates a competitive disadvantage for the business you expect to support your grandkids activities. Pretty sure you can read above the definition of shallow and self-centered liberalism (approving the government creating a competitive disadvantage in the market place by not fairly enforcing the laws) Thank you Rep DiSanto and all those who voted to look out for South Dakota and our main streets.

    PS current auditing software makes catching violators easy and extremely economical for the taxpayers and their families that support our state

    PSS the anti commentators above can read their solemate’s Comments agreeing with them over on the liberal blog – dakota Free Press

    Reply
    1. JKC

      We are not “applauding” it, rather we see it for what it is. If you follow the absence of knowledge about the use tax system as something acceptable, then why does the State have signs on highways informing citizens of laws relative to speeding?

      People are not going to reduce their on line shopping because of WayFair. This decision will not have any significant impact on Main Street. People shop online because of the instant variety and convenience. Not paying the sales tax in the past was merely a bonus. It’s the shipping issue, and whether one will pay shipping, that is the true breaker between online and Main Street shopping.

      The ethical issue all along was not that people were not paying the use tax, rather the ethical issue was that the government passed a law that was not enforceable, yet they continued to collect this tax from some, but a very small some…. and how ethical is that?

      Reply
      1. duggersd

        I do not disagree with your statements as to why most people do their shopping online. However this does apply the principle of equal enforcement of the law. And I do believe it is enforceable.

        Reply
    2. Cliff Hadley

      Mr. Schoenbeck, I trust human nature more than human laws. Software works both ways. For every monitoring program the states have, there will be all sorts of bright, misguided minds developing bootleg programs to hide internet sales. And where no sale’s recorded, no tax is collected.

      Reply
    1. William Beal

      Ironic, calling someone a RINO when you parrot Cory Heidelberger’s position.

      When did the “True Conservatives” start taking marching orders from Cory?

      Reply
  8. Troy Jones

    JKC,

    You really asked the question in terms of ethics? You are either one wholly warped person or wholly ininformed about how sales and use taxes are linked so transactions can’t be structured to avoid the tax.

    Reply
    1. Cliff Hadley

      Mr. Jones, unless humans sprout wings and become angels, there will be plenty of shady operations selling to otherwise honest consumers whose internet purchases will magically never be recorded.

      Reply
    2. JKC

      So a law that is not enforceable is still ethical, especially when some, and in particular certain groups, do and are expected to adhere to that law, or in this case, a tax, while other who are the vast majority are not?

      Reply
  9. Anne Beal

    One thing not mentioned is that by not collecting sales taxes on internet purchases, the state has been giving a tax break to people with internet access.
    Internet access and the necessary devices are not cheap.
    Unless one is willing to put his credit card information into a publicly used computer at the library, lower income people do not have the option of making online purchases. They have to go to the store and pay the sales tax.
    I have been raked over hot coals for being from Taxachusetts. Funny thing is, Massachusetts sales tax is not applied to food or clothing items priced over $100. At least there, the taxes are not disproportionally imposed on people with lower incomes.

    Reply
  10. Troy Jones

    Cliff,

    If you buy from a internet provider that doesn’t collect sales tax, I would worry about the quality of what you buy and their integrity to honor any warranty and return policies.

    If a company collects tax from you and doesn’t remit to the state (unless they are a tiny internet retailer), I assure you they will be caught. Easier than Main Street businesses which deal with cash.

    Reply
  11. Troy Jones

    JKC,

    It is obvious you don’t understand the very definition of ethics- principles that govern personal behavior.

    If everyone started speeding 85 on the interstate, is it unethical to have the speed limit 80? How about since most people drive 30 mph through certain residential areas, is it unethical to have a law that says 20? Your argument is flat out stupid.

    More and more it is becoming obvious liberals like making laws that apply to others but are unwilling to follow laws that apply to them (disobeyed under the banner of civil disobedience). JKC, this is what is unethical. I guess maybe your living so long unethically, it becomes natural to project unethics onto others.

    Reply
    1. JKC

      Troy, you always like to go tangent and gaslight when you are losing an argument. I distinctly remember you stating in a past DWC comment that you were not real keen to the sales tax lawsuit because it raised taxes. I don’t have time to find it now, but do you remember that comment? Oh, and I almost forgot. Above you state that the use tax is “structured” so you cannot avoid to pay, but if that is the case then why the need for the WayFair lawsuit? Couldn’t the use tax bring the money in without the help of the SCOTUS?

      And your comments specifically about the speed limit postings do not demonstrate an ethical concern other than that the State understood its duty to inform with the speed limits, which was and is lacking with the use tax.

      Reply
  12. Troy Jones

    JKC,

    I was opposed to internet tax as I saw no need for the state to have more revenue UNTIL the legislature passed a law that reduces the sales tax rate commensurate to internet sales tax collections and be revenue neutral.

    Regarding the structure comment, I should have been clear. With a use tax, one couldn’t structure the transaction and LEGALLY avoid taxes.

    When they did this, my only objection was removed and equity is realized between out of state firms (who Emily no SouthDakotans) and instate retailers who do.

    Finally, are you really arguing the ethics revolves around whether tha State puts up enough Use tax signs? There was a time when I heard stupid, I was polite but then I realized in justice sometimes you just have to say” that is massively stupid.”

    But whatever your position, my position is clear: I think all businesses (in-state and out-of-state) who sell retail products in South Dakota should pay sales tax and the transition from use taxation to sales taxation should not increase revenue to the state.

    If you want to not tax (subsidize) out of state firms who are eroding the tax base of the state and especially our rural towns, I encourage you to get this in the Democrat platform and get SuttonBjirkman etal to endorse it.

    Reply
    1. JKC

      Troy,

      The duty is with the state and not outside businessses. Because if the duty from day one was with outside businesses, then there would have been no need for WayFair.

      WayFair has created a “long arm reach” which could have future verberations, especially with a conservative Court, where we continue to create and expand fifty mini federal governments.

      #OneFederalGovernmentIsEnough

      #CaliforniaWantsToControlYourSouthDakotaBusiness. 😉

      Reply
  13. Troy Jones

    JKC, what can I do to help you get Sutton and Bjorkman to run on this? I’m sure whatever you are trying to say they will say it better.

    Reply
  14. JKC

    Troy,

    I believe Sutton supports WayFair, so he couldn’t help. And Bjorkman, well, has he ever talked about WayFair and whether there was a congressional and not a court solution to this issue?

    #HereComesCalifornia

    Reply

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