New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has a new plan which may prove to be as unpopular as his failed plan to give licenses to illegal aliens – taxing Christmas.
According to the New York Sun, New Yorkers going Christmas shopping online at Amazon.com will find an 8.375% surprise at the virtual cash register, courtesy of Governor Spitzer, who is moving aggressively to collect Internet sales taxes that have gone widely unenforced -just in time for Christmas.
Under a new policy, major electronic retailers, such as Amazon.com, will be required to collect sales tax on all purchases from New York. The policy, based on a novel legal theory, could hasten the end of the Internet’s era as a duty-free marketplace if other states follow New York’s lead. With the policy, New York immediately took the lead among states that are seeking to tax online commerce.
One state tax official, who requested anonymity, told The New York Sun, “I’d say this puts us at the front.” I would say it actually puts you elsewhere but I’m trying not to be mean.
During this year’s budget debate, Senate Republicans and business groups labeled many of Mr. Spitzer’s revenue-raisers as tax hikes, while Mr. Spitzer insisted he was simply closing loopholes.
Yes, that evil old Christmas loophole. You know, I’m no fan of social engineering but at least I understand (though don’t approve of) government placing heavy taxes on undesirable activities like smoking. But do we really want to tax people who are giving gifts to one another? Is that an act we want to put a stop to?
I guess the next thing to happen is for Wolf Blitzer to ask the Democratic Presidential candidates what they think of the Christmas tax like Tim Russert did about Spitzer’s last ingenious plan. Something tells me they’ll all be prepared this time.