Jesse Ventura on Technology
Former Independent MN Governor
Based on what is going on in our world today it is
absolutely imperative that--
No one, No matter where they live, --Be left without access to these new technologies.
I understand the concern that many governors expressed, that stores are losing important sales tax revenue to Internet sales. But I suspect that a tax on Internet purchases would put a severe damper on an industry that’s still getting its feet wet.
A: If government is involved with the Internet at all, it should facilitate but not control it. It’s OK for government to help wire the State for Internet use. The more people that get connected, the better. It’s not OK for government to try to control the content of what goes over the wires. In schools and libraries where children can access the Internet, use filtering programs to limit access to adult content. At home, parents are responsible for their children’s use of the computer...not the government, and not Internet service providers operating under government-imposed mandates. Except for helping more people get on line, government should have as little to do with the Internet as possible.
As Governor, I will veto any new proposed tax.on the Internet. The Internet is a good thing. Let it grow with some government help and with no government interference.
The nation’s governors have a strong and unified message to Congress: deal fairly with Main Street retailers, consumers, and local governments. In a letter sent to all members of Congress late Friday, 44 governors said:
If you care about a level playing field for Main Street retail businesses and local control of states, local governments, and schools, extend the moratorium on taxing Internet access ONLY with authorization for the states to streamline and simplify the existing sales tax system. To do otherwise perpetuates a fundamental inequity and ignores a growing problem.The current moratorium on Internet access taxes, like those consumers pay to Internet service providers, and multiple and discriminatory taxes is scheduled to expire in October. The moratorium does not apply to sales taxes.
Currently, sales and use taxes are owed on all online transactions, but states are prohibited from requiring “remote sellers” to collect and remit those levies. A 1992 US Supreme Court decision said states can only require sellers that have a physical presence in the same state as the consumer to collect so-called use taxes. In instances when a seller does not have a physical presence, consumers are required to calculate and remit the taxes owed to their home states at the end of the year. The problem is most people are unaware that they’re supposed to pay, and states lack an effective enforcement mechanism. Online and catalog sellers, thereby, have a significant price advantage over Main Street businesses that must collect a sales tax on all transactions.
The loophole creates serious budget problems for schools, states, and local governments. A study estimated that states could lose as much as $14 billion by 2004 if they are unable to collect existing taxes on Web-based sales. Nearly half of state revenues come from sales taxes.
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2008 Senate retirements:
Incoming Obama Administration:
Winners of 2008 Senate Races:
( * if new to the Senate)
AK:*Begich over Stevens
DE:Biden and Kaufman
GA:Chambliss v.Martin (Dec. 2 runoff)
MN:Coleman v.Franken (recounting as of Dec.1)
NC:*Hagan over Dole
NH:*Shaheen over Sununu
OR:*Merkley over Smith
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