Colorado’s nascent Sen. Cory Gardner is learning the ropes of the U.S. Senate and how to tell time.
Forever, Senator, is a long, long time.
The congressman-turned-senator from Yuma hasn’t quite grasped that yet. Why else would he proudly become an “original co-sponsor” of a bill by Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, that would make permanent the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998.
“We should never tax the internet,” Gardener said in a statement today. “That’s a position I supported in the House of Representatives, it was one of the pillars of my Four Corners Plan for Colorado, and it’s why I’m proud to be an original co-sponsor of this legislation.”
I’m for no taxes as much, actually more, than the next guy. But what Gardner and Co. overlook is that the current system unfairly taxes Internet sales where “brick-and-mortar” stores exist in your state. If you order a new blender from Wal-Mart, Target or Best Buy, you pay sales taxes on it. If you order the same blender from WowGetYourOnlineBlendersSansTaxesRightHere.com, you pay no taxes.
The three mega-retailers and many others support Colorado with jobs and taxes. WowWhateverSomethingOrOther.com doesn’t do crap for Colorado and does nothing for the state but suck up sales taxes. And those taxes? They pay for roads, snow plows, teachers, cops, stuff like that.
The reason online sales were tax free to begin with is because, back in the day, who would go to the AOL Intertubes to trust Lord-only-knows what on the other side of the WWW to take your money and send you stuff? So, to get the whole thing going, it was tax free.
It’s going now. A University of Tennessee study and the National Conference of State Legislatures estimate that online and catalog sales kept $23 billion in taxes from states and local communities in 2012.
That’s a lot of asphalt, Senator Gardner.
I’m down with not paying taxes for anything, but I’m also pretty keen on keeping the cops, paved roads and enough government to keep oil companies from washing their trucks out in the Platte River. I’m also pretty keen on treating businesses that invest in Colorado at least as good or bad as the ones sucking cash out of the state at their, and our, expense.
“Wherever the heavy hand of government taxation inserts itself, innovation, growth, and jobs are quick to disappear,” Gardner said.
No. Greed and corruption are economic fun crushers, Senator. Unfair taxation and inefficient distribution of resources are what kills progress and my car’s front-end alignment.
“Never,” Senator? Never is a long, long time.
— Dave Perry, Editor
Gardner’s Feb. 10 press release
Gardner: “Never Tax the Internet”
Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) announced today that he is an original co-sponsor of legislation to keep the internet tax-free indefinitely. The legislation is being introduced by Senator John Thune (R-SD), and would make permanent the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, which prohibits taxes on internet access or e-commerce.
“Wherever the heavy hand of government taxation inserts itself, innovation, growth, and jobs are quick to disappear,” Gardner said. “Businesses and customers are increasingly engaging online, and American entrepreneurs are making leaps and bounds forward in creating the companies, services, and communications platforms that will dominate the future of our economy. Keeping the internet tax-free permanently is the only way to ensure that the kind of progress we’ve made online will continue.
“We should never tax the internet. That’s a position I supported in the House of Representatives, it was one of the pillars of my Four Corners Plan for Colorado, and it’s why I’m proud to be an original co-sponsor of this legislation.”
Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
B40B Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515