The Norman Transcript

Editorials

May 8, 2013

U.S. Senate steps up to level sales tax

NORMAN — Many pieces of federal legislation are misnamed, oftentimes to help sway support and make for better political campaign sound bites. The federal Marketplace Fairness Act doesn’t fall into that category.

Senators on Monday approved the bill, which forces online retailers who have no physical presence in a state to collect and remit sales taxes to the states where customers reside.

It’s a victory for traditional retailers who have complained for years about the unfair advantage enjoyed by online sellers. The Senate voted 69-27 in favor of the measure. Republicans and Democrats endorsed the bill. Oklahoma’s two senators, Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn, voted against it.

Oklahoma officials estimate they are losing out on upward of $200 million a year. No estimate has been made on Norman’s losses, but Oklahoma City estimates it loses $10 million a year to online sales.

Nationally, one study put the tax losses for states at $23 billion on an estimated $226 billion in Internet purchases.

Customers, who formerly bought products in local stores, often use traditional stores for showrooms to check out products before purchasing online. Even worse, when the product fails, the local stores that were bypassed for the sale become a return station.

Buyers who turn to the Internet for purchases use the same amount of police and fire services, drive on the same roads and play in the same parks as those who buy down the street.

The measure now goes to the House. President Obama has indicated his support for the bill.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Repairs still needed

    Lawmakers once again kicked the can down the road on making needed repairs to the state Capitol. By a 62-34 vote, they turned down a Senate-approved plan to authorize up to $160 million in bonds to repair the nearly century-old building....

    April 24, 2014

  • Can’t have it both ways

    Local sheriff Joe Lester wasn’t among the state sheriffs and lawmakers protesting the removal of state prisoners from county jails this week. The sheriffs, some of whom have protested by having too many state prisoners in their ...

    April 24, 2014

  • Help for rural America

    A drive through rural parts of the Southwest can be depressing. For sale and for rent signs are prevalent. Businesses along main streets have closed. Unless they are close to a major interstate highway, many communities are in decline....

    April 23, 2014

  • Embarrassment to Oklahoma, again

    The standardized testing that was halted in local schools Monday is another embarrassment to the state. The same thing happened a year ago and Oklahoma gave them another chance....

    April 23, 2014

  • Time to move on; exit of Sebelius is right choice

    From the moment it became obvious that healthcare.gov wasn’t working, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius became damaged goods for the White House....

    April 23, 2014

  • Happy birthday to us

    We don’t expect any cake and that many candles might be dangerous but today is the unofficial 125th birthday of Norman....

    April 22, 2014

  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

Video
Facebook