Email letters, April 30, 2013

Marketplace Fairness Act would inadvertently hurt small businesses

The Marketplace Fairness Act seeks to force businesses to collect sales tax in more than 20 states across the country. This would encompass more than 9,646 tax jurisdictions and an untold number of different rates. The bill places the burden for compliance on small business.

First, in order to comply with the law from at the point of the original sale, companies will be forced to either purchase a new cart or to create major and costly updates to the existing programming. Initial estimates place the cost of doing this anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to much more than $100,000, depending on the complexity of the cart involved.

The issue is further complicated in that even if businesses were to assemble a list of zip codes and tax rates, many areas have two different tax rates within the same zip code – as some areas fall within city limits and others outside the city limits.

After accepting a sale online, the sale has to be entered into the accounting system of choice by the small business. At present, products used by small business such as Quickbooks or Peachtree (Sage) do not offer the necessary features. Businesses will be forced to upgrade to expensive enterprise software.

Another untold, dirty little secret of the bill is that small brick-and-mortar businesses that occasionally ship out of state will be forced to comply with the regulations, as well. From building material dealers to agricultural goods suppliers, this bill could have far-reaching and unintended consequences.

While large retailers such as Home Depot, Amazon and Wal-Mart say it is about “fairness” to the small retail store, the truth is it makes it more difficult for small business to compete with them.

JUSTIN KRAUSS
Grand Junction

State Democratic legislators shouldn’t take pages out of Obama’s playbook

President Obama’s credibility is eroding. By the fall of 2014, if he doesn’t change course, the Democrats will be running from the party. There is some evidence that it is already happening.

When the tide begins to turn, politicians, as a group, are the biggest cowards in America. When they panic, it is a soil-your-pants kind of reaction.

It is not the boogey man; it’s the truth that scares the heck out of most of these people who are hallucinating over their previous roles of playing God.

What went wrong? Whom can we blame?

Obamacare is not a train wreck about to happen, it is a train wreck that has already happened. The Obama administration is just now trying to identify the pieces. A start would be for them to find someone who can read. There might be a few parts left to salvage.

In my opinion, however, it would be cheaper for America to call it “totaled” and start all over again.

In terms of “stuff-it and stick-it politics,“ the train was just too long.

If I were a Democrat in the Democrat-controlled Colorado Legislature, I would stop taking pages out of Obama’s playbook. The current dealings with marijuana and the gun issues have angered a lot of Colorado citizens.

Legislation has been proposed to spend millions delving into mental health issues of Colorado gun owners. This bill should be extended to the Legislature.

They are under the illusion that the majority of the Colorado electorate is a new group of gay, pot smoking outsiders.

I suggest they do the math. Out of the 2.6 million active voters in Colorado, only 875,000 are Democrats.

WILLIAM F. MCKNIGHT

Grand Junction



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