From: John Kim (jokim_at_uni.uiuc.edu)
Date: Wed Jun 28 1995 - 18:29:13 EDT
(I hadn't expected this to turn into a great big discussion. Please
make sure you change the subject heading out of courtesy to those not
On Wed, 28 Jun 1995, Lew Jansen wrote:
> > > Buying by mail order does not absolve the buyer from his obligation
> > > to pay state and local sales tax on any such goods purchased.
> > Can you cite a ruling? Last I knew, the U.S. Constitution gave Congress
> > the sole power to regulate (and tax) interstate commerce.
> I can't cite a ruling, but I have heard this also -- the trick is
> apparently that most states have a "use tax" that is equivalent to the
> sales tax. If you buy something via mailorder (interstate commerce),
> your state taxes your use of the item, and not the actual sale.
The key word I believe was "nexus," or a business presence. It came up
in a Supreme Court decision either late last year or early this year.
I think the decision was that states could collect sales tax only if
the seller had a business presence in that state. Otherwise it's
interstate commerce and the states can't touch it.
re: educational discounts, I pretty much agree with Brooks McNeely
on the status of these discounts. One of the lines I accidently cut
while editing was that it'd be unreasonable to expect IBM to maintain
discount prices if it fell below their cost. If IBM is charging
wholesale prices to both academia and resellers and we're still seeing
lower street prices, then that's likely what's happening.
So I guess the solution is to get rid of taxes. :-)
-- John H. Kim Thinkpadless until I get my screen fixed jokim_at_Mit.edu
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