As of September 15, California is forcing Internet-only retailers such as Amazon.com to collect the state’s 8.5 percent sales tax—adding another roadblock to businesses in a state already notorious for having so many.
Sure, the tax is expected to bring hundreds of millions of dollars into the state, according to tax officials. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea in the long run. Eating pints of ice cream after your boyfriend dumps you may ease the pain for a short while – but the pounds you pack on will make it harder to find another one. And if you’re already as big and beastly as California’s government, it’s time to drop the spoon.
The business community considers California’s high taxes a major turnoff:
“Each year, the evidence that businesses are leaving California or avoid locating there because of the high cost of doing business due to excessive state taxes and stringent regulations, grows,” JP Donlon writes in Chief Executive.
In fact, the magazine has ranked California the worst state for businesses since 2004. In 2004, NBC still aired new episodes of Friends. People considered Avril Lavigne a talented badass. Facebook allowed only college students to join.
Those things have certainly changed in eight years, but California’s approach to the economy remains the same. It raises taxes, adds regulations, and more businesses literally run for their money.
Overstock.com has already cut ties with its California advertisers in attempt to avoid collecting the Internet tax. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
According to California relocation expert, Joe Vranich, the number of companies leaving California has risen from 1 per week in 2009 to a 5.4 per week in 2011. But rather than use these breakups to figure out how to better herself, California simply charges ahead on her road to destruction.
Some may call this tax harmless. After all, California has always required consumers to remit and pay the tax on their own. Since so few complied, the state must force the companies to collect it. Anyway, it’s not like one more tax will sink the state.
Well, of course it won’t. But worse than the tax itself is what it signals:
California has absolutely no intention of straying from the policies that repel businesses and damage the economy.
California, you’ve really let yourself go. You’ve gone from America’s glamour girl to an overweight spinster who can’t stop shoveling ice cream into her sobbing mouth. Get ahold of yourself! The temptation of a quick fix may seem too strong to resist, but it’s time for some new coping skills—and fast. Otherwise, the bloat of big government may become too big to control.
Katherine Timpf is a 2012 Robert Novak Fellow with the Phillips Foundation.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Joseph Hammond
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Emma Elliott Freire