Amazon is now collecting sales tax for WI

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MemberSince99
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Amazon is now collecting sales tax for WI

Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:14 pm

Man does that suck. Yet another tax on us.

I'm going to reduce my Amazon spending. If I don't spend they get no more of my money. But then again they'll just steal it some other way.

Really sucks. And I'm NEVER going to that fascist organization Walmart which was all for this, either. I didn't like them to start with, with their crapola jobs and made in China junk that falls apart within a few months if it doesn't outright kill you or your dog, but I will simply never set foot in the place again. So they thought they would benefit, but I'm going to do my best to see that none of them do, either these retailers who pushed this or the government who is further picking our pockets and won't be happy until they get every penny we earn.


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Postby djrez4 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 3:53 pm

Symptom of the race to the bottom -

Walmart thinks to itself, "I have to collect sales tax on stuff I sell. Why doesn't Amazon?! They're stealing our revenue!"

Solution? If you can't compete, bring the competitor down to your level! States love new revenue so they'll play along, too.

Colorado combines sales and use taxes into one return. We're supposed to declare all of our online purchases on the return and pay taxes on the total at the end of the year, but it's not really enforced because it's hard to track.

On the flip side of the coin, states need revenue to operate. Wisconsin is completely jacked up right now, thanks to Governor Walker and his agenda. It's one thing to cut spending; it's entirely different to gut every social program while cutting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxes for corporations and opening the state's wilderness to all sorts of environmental exploitation.

Colorado is another special case - in our zeal for lower taxes and responsible governance, we passed a constitutional amendment called TABOR - TAxpayers' Bill Of Rights - back in the '90s that capped revenue at the previous year's spending level and forced the state to refund any amount collected over that. It also prevented tax increases without a popular vote. What happened? Revenue stalled and reserves disappeared. Even though the legitimate expenses of the state went up, it couldn't collect any revenue. Education spending dropped, both in K-12 and state universities, because we had no money to spend. While it may seem like a libertarian's wet dream, the bottom of our state economy almost dropped out. We lost jobs and our infrastructure began to fall apart. The recent floods (20 years after TABOR passed!) were a visible result of the complete lack of tax revenue to maintain and upgrade the state's dams and reservoirs. The amendment is still in place, but the residents of Colorado have realized what a stupid experiment it is and have started passing revenue referenda to help staunch the bleeding.

So, feel free to complain about being taxed on your Amazon purchases. Just recognize that it may be a necessary evil - the price you pay for living in a society rather than in a post-apocalyptic, Mad Max-type free-for-all.
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Postby MemberSince99 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:43 pm

I hear you djrez. Walker won basically because his opponent was an even bigger bozo. Anyone competent would have been able to win, but the more I read about the guy the more I realized he just was out of his league. Sadly that proved true.

I also hear you about taxation caps like that, HOWEVER, you do have the ability to choose (via taxpayer vote) to give them more, as you mentioned the people chose to do. That's an entirely different feeling and thing than having the government just declare you will pay more in taxes whether you want to or not. (And for the hair splitters out there who will jump in howling "Sales tax is a usage tax if you don't buy anything you don't have to pay a penny you dumbass!!!!" all I'll say is let me know how never buying anything works out for you. You can reduce your spending, but you can't possibly eliminate it).

Anyway, I would love to see more taxpayer control of what we are taxed. I'm not saying eliminate all taxes I realize some are essential to a reasonable society and even a good thing. HOWEVER there is a vast amount of waste in the system and without controls in place like in Colorado, almost a complete lack of accountability for that. In my state, I work as a programmer, and not so many years ago I took a contract job to work on a program for the state government here through a private business in the state capitol. The gist of it was, they already had a perfectly good working application that did what they needed, HOWEVER it was written in VB (Visual Basic) 6 and they wanted it converted to .NET, another development platfrom essentially that in itself would provide really no additional benefit but certainly a large cost. I told my boss you know I'm not trying to talk myself out of a job here, but this is pretty much a waste of money. And he said I know that but they want it and they are paying for it (the state) so go do it. That is one example of our tax dollars in action, and one that does not paint the state's spending in a favorable light.

So don't get me wrong and I agree that yes some taxation is necessary in order to avoid us turning into "Mad Max" (though the mohawks on those helmets were kind of cool looking) but my impression is that in my state and probably most of them out there and certainly the Federal government is really out of control and we can't seem to do a thing about it.

I am glad that you present another side of the coin to consider (and make good arguments but being a lawyer and a smart guy I expect that from you) too.

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Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:24 am

I'm also not renewing Prime when that comes up again. I have it until next June but I'm not going to continue it. I am going to sharply reduce my spending there and try to shift it to other areas that aren't going to increase my taxes. I pay enough already, between income, state, local, sales and gas taxes, tariffs and fees and taxes on power cell phone cable etc, they take and keep damn near half of what I make already, how much more should I have to pay? I get no deductions except for a very tiny amount of student loan interest that's it. So I pay through the nose. I'm sick of it. Not to go all political but it's time for those who don't want to work to get a job and contribute and it's time we quit being world policeman and starting a bunch of wars we can't afford and it's time we quit with the corporate welfare (i.e. bailout programs and tax subsidies for oil companies and the like) and be smarter about what we tax already, because taking half your pay is just flat out enough already. And this is before Obamacare and I hate to even read all the ways that is going to stick it to me, it got depressing.

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Postby whit » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:06 pm

it think that's such an interesting stance.

everyone has to pay in some form or sort.

if it's not the small businesses complaining because they can't compete with the likes of big boxes like amazon who not only saves, saves on taxes--then there are the government who makes the funds misplaced..or if placed somewhere may not directly benefit you.

I think there are some stuff that you just roll with the punches and others you should take a stance. I don't think people shifting their purchases from Amazon may be a horrible thing altogether if it means people are more willing to shop local.

I also don't think it would make that much of a difference that people will quit altogether Amazon so that it shows significant in their bottom line

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Postby djrez4 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:50 pm

Remember, Amazon doesn't save any money by not collecting sales tax. (They may save the admin and accounting costs of tracking it.)

Sales tax comes out of your pocket and is held by the business until the end of the month. The business then pays it directly to the taxing authority. Sales tax isn't an expense of the business.

FICA, on the other hand....
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Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:27 pm

Well due to another factor being added into the mix, I just went ahead and cancelled the renewal of Prime.

They've been "losing" a good number of my orders lately. I realize it's not directly their fault, but I just don't care to constantly be having to tell them that yet another order was reported delivered and is nowhere in sight. Ever since they started using the US Postal Service and their Fedex minions more, this has been going on way more than I'd like. So getting a text on my cell that the item was delivered and coming home and not finding it, convinced me it's really time to forget Amazon.

I contacted customer service about it, and I told them, this is pretty much the last straw as it's been happening a lot lately (as they can see in their records). I didn't mention the sales tax though that's part of it too but I'm just tired of not getting my stuff. It was kind of the last straw basically with them.

I removed all payment methods and all items from my wishlist. Once I get straightened out the remaining orders I have with them whatever that comes to, I'm done buying there. Enough is really enough.

If anyone has a better alternative to suggest, I'm open. Not interested in eBay at all due to Paypal. (If I had all the money back that they've screwed me out of I could take one hell of a trip to Vegas).

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Postby djrez4 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:17 pm

That sounds like a case of shady neighbors rather than anything to do with Amazon. When we lived on a busy street in Denver, UPS would leave packages at the front door and they had a tendency to disappear. I started having things shipped to the office so they wouldn't disappear. Never had a problem again.

What do you plan to do now that you've cancelled Amazon? No one else provides what Amazon does.
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Postby MemberSince99 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 10:04 am

I thought of that. Man would I be disappointed if that's the case. I feel that I live in a nice area, but it is possible. Even the shipper if it's their fault it's really not Amazon's fault, I certainly grant that, it just sucks that it's a crapshoot whether I actually get what I paid for.

They did respond right away and offered to refund what I paid for Prime to me. That's not what I wanted or expected, they earned the money, but they do have great customer service and it's a tribute to Amazon. They said to wait and see if it shows up and if not to let them know and they will replace it.

I do have a PO Box, ironically when I got it many years ago the purpose was to avoid the debt collectors pursuing me. But after the SOL ran on the debts, I kept it because it's a pain to change after you've had one for a while espcially now that I openly use it for my creditors and so on, plus they take packages there for me which was the MAIN reason I kept it. Ok one last reason - I was going to use the mailbox at my apartment, but in the first week I used it, it was completely clogged, I mean stuffed full of junk mail addressed to "resident" and "our neighbor". What a hassle to me it would be to constantly be emptying all that crap and having to throw it away. I asked the apartment if they could put a trash basket near there so we could just pitch and they said no, that would be unsightly (I kid you not). So I said well then screw using that box I'll just use the one I got where I don't get all that garbage. So that's the last reason I keep it.

I had my packages sent there but they lost a couple on me so I decided to try just sending them to my apartment since it was a bit of a drive to go get my mail anyway. But yeah now they seem to get lost all too often. Maybe the message here is to try to live on a little less stuff.

One time, at my mailbox (it's at a UPS store) they gave me a package for someone else. I was expecting an item about that size so I opened it without bothering to verify the name on the package. It was an IPOD I was like man I didn't order that so I looked and it was for someone else. I sealed the package and took it right back so that person who paid for it would get their item, it wasn't mine and didn't belong to me and I had no right to it. If they are stealing my items shame on them for that. I wish others took the same approach I did with that item. And one of my neighbors actually did turn in something that was delivered to them but was for me. So they aren't all thieves, at the very least! We have at least one other honest one.

I'm not sure. I'm open to suggestions if you have any. I'm going to reduce spending, which isn't a bad idea anyway, and order the things I get from Amazon that I still want elsewhere - books from B&N for example. It won't change the potential shipping issues of course. At some point I may need something I can get only there and break down and order it. But it wouldn't hurt me to take a break and save some money. The way this economy is, is just flat out scary. It's a disaster that just gets worse I don't care what the media says, I live in the "real world" and it's horrid out there and has been for years. So having a substantial cushion would be a good goal I think.

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Postby dickey1331 » Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:27 am

I guess I dont understand the problem with it. Does it suck? Yes but where else do you not pay sales tax?

Texas doesnt have income tax. They relay partly on sales tax to help fund the state. Its just a part of life.

Now if this was some sort of new tax then I would be onboard.
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