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State Local and SAles Taxes Archives

Richmond, California's Eminent Domain Move has Tax Consequences That Could Derail the Plan

In early August, Richmond, California decided to use a highly controversial method to aid homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages: eminent domain. Eminent domain, a power reserved to the federal government in the Fifth Amendment, is the taking of property by the government for "public use" with just compensation for the one whose property is taken. The federal government has allowed states to use eminent domain and those states in turn have allowed their municipalities and counties to wield the power as well.

Online Sales Tax Bill Running into Trouble in House of Representatives

An online sales tax bill that easily passed the Senate in May has hit many roadblocks in the House. At issue is not just the idea of online sales taxes, but where to draw the line between small and big businesses.

Online Businesses May Soon be Forced to Collect Sales Taxes for Other States

Since its inception in the early nineties, the internet has become one of the most popular places for consumers to shop. Forrester Research estimates that, by 2015, the online retail industry will be worth $279 billion. This is partly due to the convenience of shopping online and the lower prices that result from the reduced overhead of online companies. Another reason for the boom in online shopping is the ability to often avoid paying sales tax. The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that all states together lost out on $23 billion in uncollected sales tax last year. Currently, states can only compel out-of-state companies to collect taxes if the company has a physical presence in the state, such as an office, warehouse, or distribution center. This could soon change.

Streaming Video Providers Subject to Texas Sales Tax

On July 31, 2012, the Texas Comptroller issued a letter ruling concluding that businesses that stream videos over the internet to customers in Texas are subject to state and local sales tax as a cable television service provider. The letter ruling can be found on the Comptroller's State Tax Automated Research database (STAR), indexed as STAR Accession No. 201207532L.

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