Sales tax, while difficult to digest, makes sense:
It brings the local stores to a level field of play.
And it pays for a lot of things we enjoy.
And it avoids the relying on customers honestly paying the 'use tax' (which, if you had paid all this while, you wouldn't even complain about this sales tax being levied).
I hate it as much as the next person, but I support it all the same.
This response is not just to you but to everyone who has ASSumed that I haven't paid use taxes.
I know I said I wasn't going to respond, but I will make one last response. How do you know that I haven't paid "use tax"? The use tax is paid the following April, when I file my tax returns. The sales tax is paid the month before the state even gets it. So Amazon gets to sit on the money for an average of about 33-34 days in my state. I know because I do the same in the retail businesses I own. I pay the previous month's sales tax around the 18th of the month following
the month for which I am paying. Since sales tend to be more or less uniform throughout the month, the "average" sale is made around the 15th of the month which is typically 33-34 days from the 18th of the following month. Amazon, by virtue of this decision, is actually making substantial gains. In addition to holding the money, my state, and probably many others, pays them for their trouble for holding the money. Yes, that's right. If I pay a use tax, the state gets 100% of the money whereas if Amazon collects it, they keep a couple percent of it as well "for their trouble". It's a good deal for Amazon. I'd rather pay it when I want, not when I must.
Now to the question of whether I pay use tax. You bet I do. And I pay every year hence in the form of "personal property" tax levied by my local jurisdiction. Of course the latter is only on business property.
While I do not derive the majority of my income (by any means) from photography, I do derive some. I report every penny. I also use photographic equipment in other ventures. I do depreciate photographic gear which I use for business, and for those items I either buy locally, or pay the use tax. On the other hand, I do macro photography just for fun. Believe it or not, I still use an old 50mm f/2.5 compact macro and life size converter that I've had for nearly 20 years. I don't declare that in my "personal property" return because I do not use it for business. I am considering getting the 65 MP-E, again just for fun. If I buy one second hand on eBay I might well "forget" to pay the use tax, but I also will not depreciate it, though I could because I have a photography business and in the long run use tax plus depreciation would be a better deal for me tax wise. If I did pay the use tax, my local jurisdiction would ASSume it's for business and force me to pay the personal property tax on it, which would be unfair since I would not use it in any way for my business or to generate income. Nevertheless, they would see it and tax me.
The MacBook Pro and Thunderbolt display that I very recently bought, I bought at the local Apple store and paid sales tax. I could have gotten them at Amazon, but I am happy that Apple has a store in a local mall, and so I patronize it. There are only seven Apple stores in my state, three or four of which are in northern Virginia. The next one nearest to me if this one were to close (hardly likely I know) is 100 miles away in Richmond.
If I look through my Amazon purchases for the last 12-24 months, most are small and inconsequential. I don't think the state cares about them. And if once in a while I purchase a "bigger ticket" item and "forget" to mention it, well again, I ask, do you all turn yourself in for speeding? Rolling a stop sign or a right on red? Driving when you've had two drinks in the last hour? Those are all things that can kill people. So while you are all judging me, kindly look in the mirror.
Oh, and I am quite certain that at least one of you has also "forgotten" to pay use tax on an item or two. In fact I'd wager on it. As I said earlier in this thread: pot, kettle, black?Edit
: I was inaccurate. Five of the seven Apple Stores in my state are in northern Virginia, one is in Richmond, and one is local to me, in Norfolk.