Fiery tax-reform advocate Grover Norquist says efforts to enact a nationwide tax on purchases over the internet will do great damage to the United States economy.
“There is a real danger [of this tax],’’ Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, told guest host John Fund Monday on Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’
“Why do damage now that 15 years from now we’ll really regret because of all the lost opportunity?’’
Norquist — who became a household name last year when he tried to hold Republicans to a no-tax-hike pledge they signed — said a nationwide tax has been talked about for years.
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“States want to be able to tax businesses in other states and the Supreme Court ruled you can’t do that because of the unfair burden of asking . . . some small company to know 1,000 different sales tax rates,’’ he said.
Asked by Fund about inequities between brick-and-mortar stores that have to charge taxes and have other costs, and internet companies which get away with paying no taxes, Norquist said it balances out.
“As you know, a bookstore pays local property taxes because it uses schools and roads and fire departments from that neighborhood,’’ he said.
“A company that sells you something from Amazon or L.L. Bean or eBay, they don’t live in your city . . . they don’t get police protection, their children don’t go to your schools, they don’t benefit from any of the tax spending by that city or that state.
Norquist said that in addition, the cost of shipping is greater than any sales tax that is avoided.
“Unless you’re dealing with shipping diamonds and expensive cameras, the difference between buying online and buying at the local store is some people like to go to the store and look through things and some people want to do their shopping online at 2 o’clock in the morning in their underwear,’’ he said.
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