Letter to my Representative and Senators   2 comments

I just sent this to Rep Peter Welch, Sen Bernie Sanders, and Sen Pat Leahy

Dear Sir,

I am writing with strong objection to the Marketplace Fairness Act. As a Vermonter who has worked for a mail order catalog company for many years, I think this legislation will be disastrous. The concept of having every company and artist who sells their goods via the mail, have to conform to every individual municipal tax code is daunting. The worst effect of this will be all of the companies that realize it will be too difficult, and they won’t even try. Do you have solid estimates about how many businesses will never start up due to the excessive difficulty in implementing this? If not, you better go back to the drawing board. Personally, I expect it will stifle small business in Vermont, and the United States of America.

I have heard the idea that there will be some sort of software that will make it easy to calculate the tax rate for each individual community in our vast country. Is that true? If so, you might be able to make the system work. That said, when was the last time you went through a major software upgrade? They are excessively painful, never go anywhere near as easy as planned, and create havoc for months and years. Are you willing to guarantee that this will work perfectly right out of the gate? What is the precise plan for updating the software, every time any community changes their tax rate? Again, if every detail is not worked out, it will be a nightmare.

By implementing such a system, it’s obvious that the larger the company, the easier it will be to adhere to this. Once again, you politicians are willing to throw the little guy under the bus, and encourage the large corporations. They will survive anyway. We may, or may not. If you implement this, remember, every job lost because of this will be your fault.

Please write back with direct answers to my concerns. A cover letter will only result in further questions and phone calls. As a citizen, I need to know the answers to these questions, and if I get the slightest hint that you have not gamed out every possible ramification, I will be forced to vote against you in the next elections. In general, I feel lucky to be represented by such intelligent and caring people. However, if you follow through on this, and vote for this, and problems arise, there will be no reason to expect that you should keep your jobs.

Very Sincerely,

Tim Lewis

Advertisements

2 responses to “Letter to my Representative and Senators

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Senator Sanders replied:

    Dear Mr. Lewis:

    Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the possible expansion of the sales tax to on-line purchases . I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns about this issue .

    Let me say that I am not a big fan of the sales tax. It is a highly regressive tax – that is, lower and middle-income families pay a larger percentage of their income in sales taxes than do upper-income families. Personally, I think taxes should be structured exactly the other way around.

    That said , I support the Marketplace Fairness Act, for several reasons. First and foremost, this bill will put Vermont retail businesses on a more competitive footing with out-of-state internet companies who do not charge sales tax when they sell products. It is no secret that many Vermont downtowns are struggling; this bill will bring more commerce to our local retailers and more vitality to our downtowns.

    The bill also relieves consumers of the burden of tracking and reporting those online purchases, as they are currently required to when filing state income tax returns. Vermont retailers manage to collect sales taxes on behalf of consumers; surely, online retailers can do the same.

    Moreover, the bill will restore lost revenues for the state government. We cannot keep starving government of revenues, and at that same time, expect it can maintain the same level of services for our citizens. It cannot. There is a reason why our infrastructure is crumbling, why basic services are being reduced, and why benefits earned by seniors and veterans are at risk of being slashed, and it has a lot to do with declining revenues.

    You may have heard that the Senate recently passed an amendment to the budget resolution endorsing the concept of the Marketplace Fairness Act. I was pleased to support that amendment. The Senate Finance Committee, of which I am not a member, and the full Senate still have to consider the bill, as does the House. I will keep your thoughts in mind should this legislation come before the full Senate.

    Again, thank you for contacting me about this important issue. Feel free to contact me again in the future about this or any other subject of interest to you, or for up-to-date information on what my office is working on please visit http://www.sanders.senate.gov . While there, I invite you to sign up for my e-newsletter, the Bernie Buzz, at http://sanders.senate.gov/buzz/ . Please be aware that due to security screening procedures, postal mail to my office experiences delays that will lengthen the time it takes me to get back to you. The fastest way to contact my office is by calling 1-800-339-9834.

    Sincerely,

    BERNARD SANDERS
    United States Senator

  2. I replied back to Senator Sanders:

    Your reply said “The bill also relieves consumers of the burden of tracking and reporting those online purchases, as they are currently required to when filing state income tax returns. Vermont retailers manage to collect sales taxes on behalf of consumers; surely, online retailers can do the same.”

    Retailers have to collect one set tax in one set tax zone. Online sellers, whether it be a large seller, or an independent artist, will have to collect and distribute taxes in every district they sell in. That will be a staggering burden. It will be far more difficult that adding up your online purchases and paying one tax rate for it. I don’t see your argument as being valid. Also you said:

    “Let me say that I am not a big fan of the sales tax. It is a highly regressive tax – that is, lower and middle-income families pay a larger percentage of their income in sales taxes than do upper-income families. Personally, I think taxes should be structured exactly the other way around.”

    So, if that is the case, why do this? It will add even more regressive taxes to the public, and will be a burden. Why would you vote for something that you know is wrong?

    In reading your whole reply, you did not answer the specific questions that I asked, and your reply seems certain, but muddled. Are you sure you have really thought this through? Are you sure this is the best way to go? Are you sure you will not create unemployment in Vermont companies with an online store?

    It seems like you are missing something here. Your comments show the hole in your argument. I firmly believe you should not vote for this bill, and if you do, you will loose mine.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sincerely,

    Tim Lewis

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: