Wanting More, Taxation Gets Less
The Tax Foundation has looked at Amazon taxes and found the following:
Contrary to the claims of supporters, Amazon taxes do not provide easy revenue. In fact, the nation’s first few Amazon taxes have not produced any revenue at all, and there is some evidence of lost revenue. For instance, Rhode Island has seen no additional sales tax revenue from its Amazon tax, and because Amazon reacted by discontinuing its affiliate program, Rhode Islanders are earning less income and paying less income tax.
Amazon taxes also do not “level the playing field” between brick-and-mortar and online businesses; the laws actually mandate disparate burdens on online businesses. Litigation over the constitutionality of Amazon taxes is ongoing, with scholars on the left and right disputing their wisdom and legality.
The report cites General Treasurer Frank Caprio’s statement that the tax should be repealed “immediately” and provides a map showing Rhode Island as one of only four states with such a law. Once again, whatever the fairness of the policy, Rhode Island must stop being on the cutting edge of economic experiments that bleed our local economy.