Tax-Free Internet Sales Are Now Dead

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The internet’s tax-free era has come to an end:

Internet retailers can be required to collect sales taxes in states where they have no physical presence, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday….The vote was 5 to 4. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M. Gorsuch.

That’s not a Supreme Court lineup you see very often. But this is what happens when the court decides a case that doesn’t really split along partisan lines. They actually look at the law dispassionately.

Anyway, that’s that. Within a year or less, every state will collect sales tax on internet and mail-order sales. And even though this affects everyone, I can hardly wait for Donald Trump to find out. I expect an FU tweet aimed at Amazon within a few hours.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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