Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft

FC: The Man Who Taxed the Net

------- Forwarded message follows ------- Date sent: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 15:40:35 -0800 To: From: Declan McCullagh <> Subject: FC: The Man Who Taxed the Net Send reply to:


And more on yesterday's meeting (it continues today):,1283,33080,00.html


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 order.


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