Skip to comments.No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.
Posted on 03/05/2011 3:40:24 AM PST by djf
Given the huge amount of controversy about California (770 miles long, 250 miles wide) vs. Amazon...
California has decided it wants to worry more about some fish than the central valley, which has been one of the highest, most prolific, profitable areas in the world for years (remember "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Chinatown"? I suspect the tax revenue California might get from a booming central valley exceeds Amazons total revenue by billions. But CA decides it would rather go after an entity in another state. Do you know what they call it when an organism manages to not produce it's own energy and instead lives off of the energy and efforts of another?
They call it a parasite.
Regardless. Let's set that aside for the moment. The guys who came up with the Constitution were not looking for a perfect government. I suspect they pretty much all would admit that humans are never perfect.
But they were looking for a far better government than what they had lived with. And they were committed to their own individual States, and familiar with the economies and benefits that each enjoyed.
The statement above, Art. 1, Sec 9, Par 5 is quite clear.
Each state would be on equal economic footing as the others, at least in that it would not loose whatever small economic advantages it had.
So a small state that produced whatever, say timber for example, would not lose that work and advantage to a large state that wanted to tax the hell out of it.
The same kind of situation now exists with those who glorify the "global economy", and rant against duties and tariffs. The founders knew very well our early limitations against Europe. They wanted to develop self sufficiency. Duties and tariffs are only a way of leveling the playing field against other countries/players that for whatever reason, can supply things (at least for the moment) cheaper.
I cannot believe how far we have strayed from these ideas.
Americans better start electing political candidates who understand and support the US Constitution....or it’s all over and it will be a slow death for the US and the states too.
Good post, djf.
I hate to admit it, but I’m a geezer. But because of that, I remember alot of arguments going on for years in the 60’s and 70’s about states trying to have sales tax on mail order.
And at that time(s), it was UNIVERSALLY agreed that no state should be able to tax something coming from another state.
What has changed?
Greed or not enough spendthrift?
The Constitution? Has the Constitution changed?
I dunno. Life is too hard. You think you can learn the rules, then live by the rules, and you would be OK. But then they just come along and change the rules whatever damn time it’s to their advantage, and you end up with yur butt in the grinder...
I believe that there is no sales tax bought in other states via the internet UNLESS the company has a presence in your state. Most companies like Amazon add the sales tax automatically based on your zip and the company you are buying from.
“So a small state that produced whatever, say timber for example, would not lose that work and advantage to a large state that wanted to tax the hell out of it.”
You can see the criminals in the states defying the commerce clause everyday. If you buy an auto in a state with a 3% sales tax and your state charges a 7% tax, you are required, under penalty of death, to pay an extra tax. The state criminals call it a “user fee.”
That is illegal.
A law was passed by Congress in the 1950’s that prohibited states from requiring companies to collect sales tax, or pay income tax on merchandise shipped into a state when the shipper has no presence in the recipient state. What the states do is impose a nearly unenforceable use tax on the purchasers.
However, states are interpreting “presence” ever more broadly. If you ship by postal service or common carrier, you don’t have a presence, but if you deliver in your own vehicle, you risk having it impounded at the state border, because most states interpret that as having a presence.
Furthermore, the states are also sliding through a loophole in the law for services, taxing services performed in another state for a client in the home state, and, some are even attempting to tax merchandise sent to a state that has no sales tax.
States are desperate for money and will be trying just about anything to get it, even if it means trying things that have already been tried and failed. But they’ll keep doing it until the courts slap injunctions on them. It’s a sorry state of affairs we have. Restoration of Constitutional order is the only answer to this because going out of bounds is what brought us down.
Back in January 2001, the financial regulatory structure amended the recourse rule in Basel I to reduce the reserve requirements for government bonds and securities purchased from the GSEs to zero, making it much cheaper for financial institutions to invest in those than many other kinds of investments that would have likely gone to the private sector instead. Of course the effects of redirecting investment money to securities from the GSEs is quite obvious, but the other is now starting to become quite clear.
Not only was the private sector starved of money and terms like “outsourcing” and “off shoring” entered into pop culture, but governemnts gobbled up the money by the truck load. And since government doesn’t produce wealth, we are all the poorer for it when it’s time to start repaying it all with interest because we took all that potentially productive capital and didn’t do productive things with it.
And the politicians have the nerve to tell us that lack of regulation caused all this. What a crock of crap.
Yet another Constitutional restriction violated.
Read through the Constitution and look at all the little things they do that would be considered violations in an earlier time. We’ve let them get away with far too much and it’s not getting better any time soon without intervention. (Can the Tea Party do it?)
But the only way to get the genie back into the bottle will be nasty, and most people won’t support the severe restrictions (e.g. limits on entitlements) that would result. So do we storm the Bastille without our valiant 20 percent?
The cost of buying products remotely has dramatically decreased and the cost of state taxes has increased so much that, for many classes of products, they have crossed. Prior to the internet, buying products from another state was a novelty, now it is commonplace. That's what has changed.
The Totalitarian left have turned all words on their heads.
The Commerce Clause meant Free-Trade and non-interference.
Thanks to bastardization by Totalitarians, it now means the exact opposite, total interference by the Central State into every economic activity.
Chinatown (movie) was about irrigation rights in Los Angeles not up in delta smelt land
I know. I’ve watched it many times. Still, it had to do with agriculture, remember when Nicholson goes out to the orange orchards?
Same kind of deal as what’s going on now.
Sorta. Well, almost.
U get my meaning.
Your reasoning is flawed, and therefore your conclusion is unpersuasive.
You make the mistake many do, of failing to understand what California, and other states, are actually proposing.
There is no “tax” on Amazon. There is no “Tax” associated with shipping things across state lines.
There is a “Sales Tax”, a tax that a state is legally allowed to apply to it’s own residents for things they purchase. There has long been sales tax in California, on items purchased by Californians — Including items that were purchased over the internet.
The issue here is whether Amazon, a company selling items to people in California, can be required to collect Sales Tax for California. Companies that have business interests within a state (a “nexus”) can be required to collect sales tax for the state as a cost of doing business.
And when they buy something from a company that has NO business in the state, they STILL have to pay sales tax — but the purchasers have to track it, and pay it directly. IT’s the law, and anybody who doesn’t pay tax on what they buy over the internet is a TAX CHEATER.
But, Amazon does have business interests in the state. Amazon has argued that those interested do not rise to the level where they should collect sales tax from their customers. California is arguing that it can.
Amazon is fighting this because Amazon like tax cheaters, and makes money by enabling people to cheat on their taxes, and thus undercutting businesses who have to collect the sale taxes.
It is surprising how many good conservatives just don’t know that they are required by state law to pay the sales tax themselves if a company doesn’t collect it for them. And then they find out, they make all these excuses about why they should be allowed to cheat on their taxes.
Nothing at all wrong with my reasoning.
Did the article we are talking about come in to this state from another state?
If the answer is “yes” then “NO TAX OR DUTY SHALL BE LAID...”
Now you can twist words to make the meaning whatever you want. You could call it a tax on breathing while you are going to the post office to pick up your package.
But the law is supposed to look at the SUBSTANCE of things, not the form or description or title.
That means the consumer is ultimately responsible to pay the tax, as everybody who collects it for the State already knows. HOWEVER, the seller within the State needs a "seller's permit," which requires that they collect the tax. Oh, but that makes it a "SALES tax," doesn't it?
Hence, for the State to claim that Amazon must do anything is to admit that it IS a sales tax. Everybody, including State officers, calls it that while legally claiming that it is something else.
They can't have it both ways. Hence, for the State to claim Amazon MUST collect it for them is to outsource collections services, for which they should pay. If Amazon doesn't want to do it, the State must figure out how to collect.
WARNING TO YOU OUT-OF-STATE PEOPLE WHO THINK THIS DOES NOT AFFECT YOU, ESPECIALLY YOU IDIOT "FAIR TAX" ADVOCATES: California is broke. They will do anything to collect this tax in order to keep spending. That means they will probably institute, with Federal collusion, electronic means to track every shipment by which to collect the money. That means they would have the software and infrastructure developed by which to control the shipment of every private transaction. "You will not be able to buy or sell" without government getting its take.
Does that sound at all familiar?
Legally, it is a use tax, not a "sales tax." Your reasoning is flawed, and therefore your conclusion is unpersuasive.
That is a flaw in word usage, not reasoning. Just trying to keep it simpler; the use tax is, for every state I’ve studied, defined with the sales tax, and implemented congruently. The distinction is meaningless to the argument, and therefore your objection is not meaningful; I do however thank you for clarifying the term, as I could have mentioned it.
It isn’t a tax or duty laid on items coming into the state. It is a tax on the people who PURCHASE items, regardless of where they come.
When you are attempting to advance constitutioanl arguments, and I assume that you, like me, are not a lawyer, it is helpful to think about whether those who are actually trained in the law advance your argument.
There is no argument put forward against interstate sales tax related to the constitutional issue you raise, because it simply does not apply.
I imagine there are few things you purchase that didn’t come into your state from another state — if your argument had any merit, it would apply to the sale tax you are paying on those goods that are shipped into your state.
Meanwhile, you will notice that nobody is questioning the constitutionality of Barnes and Noble collecting sales tax from you for purchases you make from their online site, which are fulfilled by shipments from another state.
The argument Amazon is making does not invoke the Duty and Excise tax clause, because it simply does not apply to sales tax collected on items used by residents of a state.
If a state tried to tax items that were brought into the state from other states exclusively of a tax on all goods, you’d have an argument.
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