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Letter: Law would burden online businesses

An package is prepared for shipment by

An package is prepared for shipment by a United Parcel Service worker in California. Under a bill now in the U.S. Senate, Internet retailers would be empowered to collect state and local taxes on purchases. Credit: AP, 2010

As an Internet retailer, my company must collect sales taxes from more than 100 different jurisdictions in New York State -- counties, cities and special zones ["Time for tax on Web sales," Editorial, May 3]. The time and effort to complete our state sales tax return are more than twice that needed to complete personal federal and state income tax forms, and these sales tax returns are filed four times a year.

To require us to do that 50 times over for every state is ludicrous. We would spend more time and effort filing sales tax returns than running and growing a business.

The rational and pragmatic approach is what now exists: Require individuals to pay a use tax on their state tax returns. Let the states, not Internet businesses, enforce the tax laws. Level playing field? Brick-and-mortar businesses collect only from their physical location. I'm certain they shout out loud about their competitive disadvantages.

Mike Richards, Medford