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New taxes reach the web

by CASEY BENZI Staff Writer

   If you did not already have a reason not to buy items online, here is a new thought – online taxes. A new bill has been proposed that will create a tax on anything purchased from any online website, such as Amazon.

   Taxing online materials now only affects someone if their purchased item comes from a warehouse within their own state. For example, if I order something from Amazon and the item is in stock in their New Jersey warehouse, I will be taxed for it. Although, if I buy the same item from Tiger Direct, I will not be taxed since their warehouses are only in Florida.

   If this bill is passed, online customers will then have to pay a tax for their purchased item no matter where it is ordered from. Even if I order from a Florida-based website, I would still be required to pay New Jersey’s seven percent sales tax.

   The sole purpose of a sales tax is to ensure that the government collects enough money to fund different governmental programs.

   Personally, my family buys a bunch of things off of Amazon because they are usually well priced and often have good quality. Even though you can buy the same things in a store, it is much more convenient to order things to be delivered to your house.

   This new bill will encourage more people to either spend more money online or have to physically go to the store to purchase their desired item. It has just recently passed the Senate with a vote of 69 to 27, but it has not yet passed the House because of some “conservative lawmakers.”

   This bill is being proposed because online shopping began to take business away from actual stores. If a retail store such as Barnes & Noble was selling a Kindle, a customer could just simply go online to a site like Amazon to purchase the same Kindle for less money.

   The difference in prices from the store to a website has gradually created competition between the two. Best Buy, for example, was losing a lot of business because customers would go to the store, check the price for their desired electronic supplies, and then find a website that sold it for a cheaper price. To keep up with the internet’s lower prices, Best Buy made a new policy that if the customer found an item online for a lower price, they would match it.

   Best Buy’s move did even out the competition a bit, but only a few stores are honoring that policy, since others are more desperate for income.

   “I feel that online taxing is ridiculous because stores are going to go out of business since no one in their right mind would travel all the way out to a store when they can just buy the same thing for less money online,” says sophomore Kaetlyn Chigorovich.

   This bill will obviously help the business of physical stores and may take away from online purchases, but it will most likely even out competition, depending on the customer’s personal preference.

   “I believe if you buy things online and have to pay shipping and handling, there should be no tax on top of that. People are already paying enough! It will also make stores seem overpriced and turn people away from physical stores. It may be positive or negative for online websites,” says freshman Nicole VanDurza.

Where would you buy products from if the new sales tax passes?

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