If a Nevadan drives to Bullhead City, Arizona or Wendover, Utah or Truckee, California and buys a book, they do NOT have to pay Nevada sales tax on the purchase. Why should they? The retailer is located in another state and uses that other state’s government services, not Nevada’s.
So riddle me this, Batman. If instead of driving to another state and buying a book, let’s say a Nevadan dials up the ol’ Internet and purchases the book online from a business located in, say, Texas. Should that Nevadan be forced to pay the Nevada sales tax on his or her purchase? Of course not.
But according to the law, Nevadans are technically required to voluntarily remit to the state the sales tax on any and all Internet purchases from out-of-state companies.
And the Retail Association of Nevada (RAN) announced today a $50,000 lobbying/PR campaign to persuade state legislators to change the law to force out-of-state online companies to force you to pay the sales tax to them and then force the out-of-state companies to remit those taxes to the state of Nevada – all at the out-of-state company’s trouble and expense, of course.
And in violation of the U.S. Constitution, to boot.
RAN says its effort to force you to pay a tax you shouldn’t have to pay in the first place is to level the playing field, but that’s hogwash. In-state retailers still enjoy considerable advantages over online retailers – including the ability of customers to drive down to the local Wal-Mart and make a purchase in the span of minutes, not days, and without the added delivery expense.
Nevada brick-and-mortar retailers and RAN should stop whining, suck it up and get back to competing in the marketplace instead of spending $50,000 to suck more money out of the pockets of Nevada’s citizens.