Actually, I wasn't referring to sales taxes, but to the whole investment in the community that brick and mortar stores have.
Even national retailers like Best Buy or Barnes and Noble contribute far more to local economies than Amazon. Through their network of local stores, they hire local workers, pay salaries, payroll taxes, workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, etc., Their stores pay local property taxes, which support local schools.
The local payroll circulates through the local economy, helping other local businesses, including photographers, stay in business.
Sales taxes are paid by the consumer and are only collected by the stores. The individual still owes the taxes, regardless of whether or not the retailer collected the, so those taxes aren't really relevant.
As I said, I'm conflicted because, like most consumers, I'm short-sighted enough to go for the best price whenever possible. But, that doesn't make me blind to the downsides of an internet-based economy.
Makes sense. I suppose there's some state revenue gained from Amazon's distribution centers, but nothing like a retail presence. Beyond just revenues, Best Buy recycles old CRT displays to keep them out of landfills (although they get a tax break for doing so), etc.
It's also not just about getting the best price. Many products available from online retailers simply aren't available in local stores.