Letter: A bill in search of honesty

Last modified: 8/18/2014 6:54:01 AM
Letter writer Joe Cortese from NobleSpirit thanked Sen. Kelly Ayotte for her protecting New Hampshire’s small businesses by “preventing us from being victims of burdensome internet sales tax legislation” (Monitor letters, Aug. 12).

Presumably he was referring to her recent column opposing the Marketplace Fairness Act.

Cortese goes on to say that as a New Hampshire business with a single location selling online, adhering to various state tax laws would be so complex that he “could not compete with big retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target.”

A quick visit to NobleSpirit’s website shows that it is proudly the No. 1 seller of stamps, coins and collectibles on both Ebay and Overstock. NobleSpirit’s home page features a variety of ongoing auctions, including a stamp collection with a value exceeding $1 million and several more exceeding $500,000 in value.

Under current law, these sales will go through (to a presumably wealthy bidder) absolutely tax free. This is the exact type of thing the Marketplace Fairness Act, introduced by a Republican senator and co-sponsored by other Republicans, is designed to address.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with Cortese and wish him much success as a New Hampshire business owner. My issue with his letter is the same as it was with Ayotte’s letter about this legislation. Let’s stop being disingenuous and be honest about who this bill truly targets. It’s not small businesses or small online sellers. It’s large online sellers not collecting taxes as they perhaps fairly should.



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