To the Editor:
The governor wants to enforce the collection of the sales tax on Internet sales. It’s apparently unfair to require in-state businesses to collect sales taxes, while not requiring it from Internet sales.
As a skeptic, I am inclined to believe revenue—not fairness—is the prevailing motive. As Americans, we are culturally inclined to promote fairness, but it is difficult and not always possible.
It was unfair when our in-town stores were placed at a disadvantage by suburban shopping malls; traditional telephone companies have been disadvantaged by the introduction of cell phones.
It isn’t possible, nor is it the proper role of government, to protect businesses from the evolution of progress. Neither is it the role of government to unnecessarily hinder business, which it has done with the imposition of the sales tax.
What the governor is proposing is essentially an additional tax, as if we didn’t already have a sufficient number. Instead of taxing the Internet to help Maine businesses, let’s eliminate the sales tax to help Maine businesses.
Let’s level the taxation field and allow Maine businesses to compete fairly with New Hampshire.