Pricing, not sales tax, will determine retailers' success

April 27, 2013

It is amazing that the U.S. Senate has been paralyzed to the extent that it is unable to pass legislation favored by 90 percent of Americans requiring simple background checks on gun purchasers but at the same time is poised to sock it to consumers by requiring Internet marketers to collect state and local sales tax on online purchases ("Click and pay," April 24).

While The Sun's editors argue that the present sales tax collection system gives out-of-state Internet marketers an unfair advantage over in-state marketers, they ignore the fact that in-state sellers have an inherent advantage over online sellers: They are closer to the consumer and the point of delivery and therefore have substantially lower delivery costs than out-of-state sellers. Local businesses can compete effectively if they simply price their products competitively.

Berryl Speert, Baltimore

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