Opinion: The problem with Christie’s plan for online sales tax

GOVERNOR Christie gave himself a pat on the back for drafting a budget that would pay more than $2 billion into the state’s flailing public pension fund without substantially raising taxes. But unfortunately, Christie’s claims that he won’t be adding to New Jerseyans’ tax burden — the second-highest in the nation — don’t stand up to scrutiny. Policies in the budget would force online retailers to collect sales taxes from buyers in the Garden State, creating headaches for small business owners across the country.

Whether a misguided attempt to “level the playing field” or a naked cash grab, Internet sales taxes are a bad deal for retailers and consumers alike. The proposed policy in Christie’s budget is similar to the Marketplace Fairness Act, a federal bill that passed the U.S. Senate last year and is currently pending action in the House. Both proposals would create an avalanche of paperwork and compliance costs for small businesses who sell products online.

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