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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: The Man Who Taxed the Net

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Wed, 15 Dec 1999 15:40:35 -0800
To:             	politech@vorlon.mit.edu
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
Subject:        	FC: The Man Who Taxed the Net 
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com


And more on yesterday's meeting (it continues today):



                     The Man Who Taxed the Net 
                     by Declan McCullagh 

                     3:00 a.m. 15.Dec.1999 PST 
                     SAN FRANCISCO -- Ron Kirk was once a
                     reluctant proponent of Internet taxes. 

                     The 45-year-old mayor of Dallas, Texas
                     didn't really want to become known as
                     the Man Who Taxed The Net. After all,
                     there were tech firms like Dell and Texas
                     Instruments nearby. And fatter credit
                     card bills were no way to attract votes. 

                     Since then, Kirk has become the most
                     prominent pro-tax voice on the
                     Congressional advisory commission
                     meeting this week -- as firmly attached
                     to the idea as a Rottweiler with lockjaw. 

                     "We're trying to treat all transactions
                     equally," he said during an interview
                     Tuesday evening with Wired News. 

                     Kirk's plan, essentially the same as one
                     proposed by the US Conference of
                     Mayors, would require US shoppers to pay
                     their local sales taxes whether buying a
                     product online or via a toll-free number. If a
                     voluntary trial doesn't work, Kirk wants to make
                     it law. 

                     "It would make more sense if it were
                     mandatory," says Kirk, a member of the
                     US Conference of Mayors advisory board. 

                     The proposal requires both traditional
                     catalog and mail-order firms and dot com
                     businesses to collect sales tax as soon as
                     the customer types in a shipping address.
                     Then, Kirk says, companies "can make
                     sure" the proper sales tax is added to the


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