16902901_BG1

I was involved in a conversation with some of my peers in an ethics class one day discussing the ethics of states collecting sales tax on purchases made out of state and on the Internet.  I live in Idaho, about 40 miles from the state line of Oregon.  Idaho has a 6% sales tax on all items, including unprepared food, which the state gives a $50 credit for at tax time.  Oregon has no state sales tax but higher property taxes than Idaho.  If I were to purchase something in Oregon and bring it home, the state of Idaho requires me to pay the 6% sales tax (or use tax) when I file my annual taxes.  Most people thought this was fair since we live in Idaho.  They also thought this was fair for Idaho to make us report and pay 6% tax on any purchases we made on the Internet where sales tax was not paid.  So I posed a question; I have family in Southern California where I frequently visit.  The sales tax rate in the Los Angeles area is 9% or more.  If I purchased something in Southern California and brought it back to Idaho, should the state of Idaho reimburse me the 3% (or more) difference that I paid California?  After all, shouldn’t taxation be fair?

Advertisements