Readers Respond: Online taxation and a level playing field
Brick-and-mortar retailers pay taxes. Online retailers often don’t. That scenario along with a recent story about the online taxation debate raging in California led to the following reader comments about the relative fairness of sales tax rules in our increasingly digital world.
“I do believe that there should be a level playing field, and now is the time, given the state of the economy. Governments are going to have to get more tax revenues somewhere, and this is a relatively reasonable and painless source. I particularly like the fact that it is a tax on consumption — in all ways more fair than a tax on income. The major problem with taxing online sales, of course, is the fact that every governmental entity in the U.S. apparently has a different rate and structure. It would be virtually impossible for an Internet retailer to manage that. As it is, it’s impossible for us to even get it right at the local level, as everywhere we deliver seemingly has a different set of rules and an ever-changing tax rate. My suggestion would be to charge a reasonable, uniform tax determined by the powers that be (perhaps the ICC), regardless of customer location. That would vastly simplify collection/distribution/payment/audit functions, and might even lead to a uniform sales tax structure at the state and municipal levels. That would be a godsend to all of us in the retail business.”
— C.K. Oram
"It is not fair to the people with a major brick-and-mortar investment. We need to have a level playing field."
— Duane Lambrecht
"There should be one average rate per state that can be changed on a uniform date, say July 1 of each year. Internet retailers should remit to one central payment location with electronic info for each state. This would take away many of the problems for small Internet retailers."
— Augustan Kittson
Any and all taxes are paid by
Any and all taxes are paid by the consumer as they are all built into the price of the goods and services we purchase. Therefore, all taxes on businesses should be suspended to increase productivity and reduce the cost of those goods and services making us more competitive in the global community. As for taxing only on consumption, we would be hurting those who need help the most - young families.
GAF sponsors “Find a Recycler” on ShingleRecycling.org
Wayne, N.J.-based GAF announced a significant expansion of its efforts to support post-consumer shingle recycling. Building on its Certified Green Roofer program, which has more than 100 members, GAF has made a multiyear commitment to sponsor the Find-A-Recycler section of ShingleRecycling.org.
ShingleRecycling.org is the leading resource for information about recycling asphalt shingles.
“Our goal is to make it easier for contractors to recycle asphalt shingles,” said Martin Grohman, director of sustainability at GAF. “We want to do that two ways — by recognizing and rewarding roofers who recycle for their efforts; and now by making shingle recycling yards easy to find.”
In addition to a state-by-state database of locations where roofing contractors can recycle their tear-offs, ShingleRecycling.org includes a wealth of technical information to encourage recycling. The new sponsorship is expected to improve searchability of the database, which already includes more than 150 listings nationwide, and provide for greater frequency of updates.
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GreenFiber used in high-profile project
GreenFiber natural fiber blown-in insulation was installed as part of Cherokee Studios, a project recently named as a Top 10 Green Build Project for 2011 by The American Institute of Architect’s (AIA’s) Committee on the Environment (COTE).
GreenFiber, North America’s leading manufacturer of natural fiber insulation, an eco-friendly product, was selected for the project because the use of GreenFiber completed the “green” package the owner of the mixed-use project was seeking. GreenFiber’s products enhanced the passive design strategies to create a building that is nearly 50% more efficient than similar conventionally designed structures. The building envelope consists of blown-in cellulose R-21 insulation in the walls and R-30 in the roof.
“We used GreenFiber’s blown-in cellulose for the installation to create an efficient building shell,” said Chris Ostler with Quality Interiors, which installed the product for Cherokee Studios. “It was the owner’s wish to incorporate the product, as we had used the same for his personal residence, and he was extremely happy with the results. At Cherokee, we used GreenFiber in the exterior and interior walls.”
Cherokee Studios, located in Los Angeles, is a mixed-use, market-rate housing project that was designed to incorporate green design as a way of marketing a green lifestyle.
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