The South Dakota revenue department apparently has somebody hired to work on the idea of getting federal approval to allow a sales tax consortium to collect state and city sales taxes on distant transactions such as buying something on E-Bay or perhaps Amazon, etc. In short, not brick and mortar business setting on the main streets of South Dakota.
This idea flies in the face of the US constitution "commerce" clause for starters, but more fundamentally necessarily includes a grotesque invasion of privacy for South Dakotans. Buy something by internet or e-mail and South Dakota, your city if you live in a city, the state where the product is sold, etc. would all need to know. Not only that, if the states intend to be honest about the application of those taxes, a huge continuously updated data base of precise locations of buyers and sellers would be required.
This is a revenue idea that should be rejected by both liberals and conservatives. It is (pun intended) terminally stupid.
I am not opposed to sales tax on distant transactions, but only if the federal government does the collecting and then only if most of the revenue is returned to states not on the basis of location of buyer or seller, but only on the basis of population perhaps weighted toward school age and college aid students as well. This removes any requirement that the location of the buyer or seller be known by 20 or 30 states nosy revenue bureaucrats.
Such a tax should be applied to all distant transactions including stocks and bonds, equipment, etc that is not purchased in a face to face manner whether or not the transaction is across state lines or solely within any state or city.
This would truly level the playing field and do away with the aburd "user taxes" which are a combination of personal property tax and sales tax running under another name.
The data from state revenue departments also seems a bit fishy. The revenue the State of South Dakota claims they would miss according to Mitchell Daily Republic article today (not sure how long that link will remain good) would mean every South Dakotan must be buying around $500 of goods per year from the internet. That seems aburdly high to me. I just don't know any families of four buying anything like $2000 of goods or services via the internet. My own guess would be more like $20 per person based on my own use of distant sales via the internet with a tax liability of around 80 cents being lost.
Your mileage may vary as they say, and you may be buying thousands of dollars of goods via the internet to make up for all the rest of us who buy next to nothing that way.
*** Stay tuned for more humbug and spin from your tax subsidized government employees --- Doug Wiken