Md. Studying Tax Revenue Lost To Internet Sales

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) –Maryland officials are working on a study to find out just how much tax revenue the state is losing to Internet sales and what could be done to recapture the money.

In an April letter, Gov. Martin O’Malley asked Comptroller Peter Franchot to study the issue. The comptroller asked the Maryland Bureau of Revenue Estimates last month to prepare the study, which is expected to be done by the end of summer.

Franchot said he believes lawmakers are likely to take up the issue within the next year.

“It’s a fair application of existing taxes,” Franchot said. “It’s a business fairness issue, and it’s increasingly a revenue issue because of the greater use of the Internet.”

Internet retailers are required to collect sales tax only when they sell to customers living in a state where they have a store or office. Franchot, a Democrat, said he has asked his staff to come up with an estimated tax bill for Internet retailer Amazon.com, which he said would add up to tens of millions of dollars if the company had a store in Maryland.

“The key point for Maryland is that the Internet industry is no longer in need of subsidies and tax protections and special treatment,” Franchot said. “They’ve grown into behemoth companies that they currently are, and they have a responsibility to the states, I believe, that they do commerce in. Right now, they’re avoiding it on a technicality, which is ‘we don’t have a bricks and mortar company in Maryland.'”

O’Malley, a Democrat, noted in his letter that the state’s Department of Legislative Services adapted a study by the University of Texas to estimate that Maryland loses more than $160 million each year from unpaid taxes related to Internet sales.

“I am concerned that the failure of any subset of retailers to collect and remit sales tax has a negative impact on Maryland’s overall fiscal strength, including our ability to meet our priority investments such as public school construction or maintaining our Transportation Trust Fund,” O’Malley wrote.

With Maryland facing a structural budget deficit of roughly $1.1 billion, state officials are eager to find any new revenue sources. Some lawmakers are talking about trying to address the deficit during a special session this fall, when the General Assembly will convene for congressional redistricting. Some also are talking about ways to increase revenues for the state’s huge transportation infrastructure demands.

The study will estimate the volume of Internet sales that take place annually in Maryland as well as their estimated percentage of total retail sales. The study also will try to estimate how much tax revenue loss is due to sales by online retailers. Recent developments in the Internet sales market also will be explored, including the expanding market for digital goods, such as music, books and software downloads.

The comptroller said the study will explore the potential effect policy changes would have on Maryland’s economic climate based on recent experiences in other states and best practices that have been used to ensure tax compliance among Internet sellers.

The study also will examine the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement, which would standardize sales tax laws and filing requirements for Internet retailers. So far, 24 states have adopted the streamlined sales tax.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. Wheres common sense when you need it says:

    Looking to recapture the money, like it is the states money? People can’t afford to live now and the State is doing everything it can to continue this trend. We are getting closer and closer to becoming a third world nation and greed will put us there.

    1. O'Malley says:

      I have to agree with the above comment. I wish O’Malley would have a heart for people. Society is having a hard time now struggling to make ends meet.

    2. air says:

      see all those people that thought it was ok for the state to ban purchasing cigars online because they don’t smoke was ok. that was the first step in taking your freedom to shop where you want. the state went after cigars because many people would view it as a good health inneciate. not as another grab of your money for taxes

    3. KottaMan says:

      Amen on that! These turdz in Annapolis just don’t get it……

    4. florwj says:

      I just got a bill from the State comptroller attempting to collect not only for the tax stamp but the sales tax – pretty sure that this is an illegal abuse of power – funny thing is – I’m willing to spend twice that amount to fight it – and so I shall. Either we have tax free sales over the internet or we do not. period.

      1. mike says:

        just how far back can the state of maryland go to try to collect these internet taxes? i also received a tax bill for purchasing tobacco products online.dont have the money so ill request that they set up an immediate court date in tax court to resolve the matter. im going to start buying everything i need in delaware.no sales tax!!sooner or later it is bound to happen, no matter what you purchase over the internet, sales tax will be added to the total of your order. looks like we are going to become a third world country a lot sooner than expected. let me know what you can find out about this tax bill.

      2. florwj says:

        It Turns out in this case – that there is solid law on the Maryland side. Cigarette sales over the internet was officially outlawed in January of 2010. The retailer that I did business with was raided by the ATF in November of 2010 – all data was confiscated as part of that raid and distributed to states that had customers.

    5. Steven Cville says:

      Small companies will find it easier just not to sell to Maryland residents. Then if there is a domino effect by Democrat run states many small businesses would have to stop selling in many states causing them to close and only the large outfits will have the internal resources to keep up with each individual states tax policies and pay them as needed.
      Another put American out of work policy by the Democrats.

  2. Lama says:

    Once again the state views our money as theirs. They are always looking for more money. If they aren’t hitting us with a 50% increase in alcohol tax or tunnel/ bridge toll increases then they’ll find it another way. Why doesn’t the government just stop spending.

  3. John Doe says:

    The state is failing to live within it’s means! They are reaping volumes from casino earnings and yet that isn’t enough!

    The politicians won’t be happy until they have bled every penney out of everyone that lives in MD.

    The politicians are no better than the fraudsters on Wallstreet!

  4. Mike says:

    O’Malley, Miller and Busch won’t be Happy until they rape the People of all their money. These Thieves need to go.

  5. Pac says:

    Why not taxs polictcal contrbutions?

    1. KottaMan says:

      I have a novel idea. As I pay sales tax on my burglar alarm monitoring service, and people pay lots of other taxes on other “services” provided, why don’t we tax LEGAL FEES to lawyers. That would certainly balance the budget, O’TaxMe!

  6. PAUL E. MICELLI says:

    GREED

  7. Former MOM Supporter says:

    MOM says it won’t be a tax…it will be a fee because a fee is not the same as a tax…remember! Oh wait a minute…what side is he working today?

  8. outkast says:

    Democrats need to think more about who they vote for ? Both parties talk from the sides of their necks,but this guy is one of the worst in the country.He added a new tax every 3 to 6 months as governor ?

  9. Lisa Hampton says:

    The citizens of Md really need to come out against the state trying to tax online sales. I am so sick of the state trying to take all of our money. This is ridiculous.

  10. OMalleySucksMDIsPoor says:

    O Malley the Tax-Bringer. i hope you get audited. in fact we should audit everyone who proposes to raise any of our taxes. where is the ACLU!!!!!!>????????

    if i could afford to pay the new tax on the bay bridge id jump off of it!

  11. george washington says:

    The crooks continue to overturn every stone they possibly can to generate more revenue for more outlandish spending. Get a grip O’Malley, do more with less as we are…

    1. Anon says:

      So how do you explain how the Republicans who control DC dumped more financial burden on the states?

      that is why even Red States have massive deficits right now

      1. know your facts says:

        You believe what you are typing, don’t you. Who controlled D.C. for the last 8 years. Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the democrates that were just voted out. The democrates have controlled D.C. and started all of this recession. It was told to Clinton during his presidence that thier was a bump in the stock market during his second year, and if he didn’t react then the next one would be alot worse. Guess what 14 years later that bump came back and bit us all in the butt. So stop blowing your horn and blaming the republicans. Its not just the republicans its all of the people in CONGRESS and the SENATE for over the last 30 years. They have always been out for themselves and not what is always best for the people and the U.S.. Thats why the Democrates passed a health bill through Congess and the senate, knowing that they didn’t ever have to participate in the program. When it was a democratic congress, they passed the bill to give thier own raises. Even when people were loosing thier jobs, they were still getting thier raises. Kind of like what Steala Dixon did with the rest of the city council during the begining of the recession in Baltimore City. I give facts that can be looked up, I don’t make statements like you and give no proof.

      2. Anon says:

        I do know my facts

        The country has been run on republican supply side economy theory since 1982 and it has bankrupted the country and the states

  12. Xolodnyj says:

    I guess the state don’t want people to be smart shoppers. All that sales tax add up and people are fed up, because we pay a high sale’s tax, a state tax, a county tax and in some cases a city tax. Plus there are the taxes for things such as grocery bags. gasoline, higher cigarette and liquor taxes (the sin taxes). We actually pay taxes for things we don’t even purchase (services taxes, stadium tax)
    My question is: Where is all the money going to in the taxes we DO pay?

    1. Jonathan Chiles says:

      Haha, I couldn’t have said it better myself. You figure you pay taxes when you get paid, then you get taxed again and again and again on that already taxed money. I bet if you made ten dollars an hour, and figured in all the taxes – it is more like five dollars an hour!

  13. jim says:

    These people are looking to take every penny I have left!!!!!! Vote them all out and start over in 2012.

  14. SW says:

    Here is the problem. Each one of us is required by law to submit sales tax due on all internet purchases where the merchant filed to collect on behalf of the consumer. The only exceptions are residents in MT, DE, and NH were the sale tax is 0%. Maryland and many other states are responding to an increasing decline over the past ten years in state sales tax revenues. The very same revenues that pay for our children’s education, local programs and health care. Mall vacancy rates have declined to greater than %20 as more and more retailers are unable to afford staying open due to misunderstood tax free internet sales. Technology now makes tax collection throughout the thousands of different sales tax jurisdictions in the United States. More importantly TaxCloud provides total transparent sales tax calculation, collection, remittance and filing services available to any business of any size FREE. After voluntarily subscribing to TaxCloud my business as enjoyed new found efficiencies. Neither my accountant or bookkeeper is needlessly spending hours to submit small sums of sales tax due. I have more capital to spend expanding my business as a result. The alternatives to consumption based taxes are far worse. Over the past ten years states have had to find other ways to raise monies to pay for new roads, education, health care, fire and police services, and so many other services we all rely upon. Property taxes and fixed fees are far more burdensome to the paycheck than a consumers choice to purchase and therefor pay a tax based upon a decision. its time to end the selfishness. Everybody always refers back to the Regan years when we had a balanced budget and no deficit. The difference during the Regan Years sales tax was be collected and applied properly. Since then states have had increasing difficulties meeting financial demands. Perhaps if we all payed our fair share over the years as required by law, the current situation would be different, unemployment would probably be lower, teachers would still be teaching instead laid off…… If avoiding paying sales tax is that big a deal move to MT, DE or NH.

    1. SW says:

      “merchant failed to to collect” …. first sentence typo

    2. JohnK says:

      Good thing the real teaparty patriots didn’t subcribe to such an attitude back in 1773. Don’t you think? And, just because it’s “law” does not mean it is fair. Is it fair to have to pay a service tax for getting shirts laundered, but not have to pay a service tax for a lawyer’s legal service fees?

  15. SW says:

    CORRECTION

    Here is the problem. Each one of us is required by law to submit sales tax due on all internet purchases where the merchant failed to collect on behalf of the consumer. The only exceptions are residents in MT, DE, and NH were the sale tax is 0%. Maryland and many other states are responding to an excelerating decline over the past ten years in state sales tax revenues. The very same revenues that pay for our children’s education, local programs and health care. Mall vacancy rates have increased to greater than %20 as more and more retailers are unable to afford staying open due to misunderstood tax free internet sales. Technology now makes tax collection throughout the thousands of different sales tax jurisdictions in the United States. More importantly TaxCloud provides total transparent sales tax calculation, collection, remittance and filing services available to any business of any size FREE. After voluntarily subscribing to TaxCloud my business as enjoyed new found efficiencies. Neither my accountant or bookkeeper are needlessly spending hours to submit small sums of sales tax due. I have more capital to spend expanding my business as a result. The alternatives to consumption based taxes are far worse. Over the past ten years states have had to find other ways to raise monies to pay for new roads, education, health care, fire and police services, and so many other services we all rely upon. Property taxes and fixed fees are far more burdensome to the paycheck than a consumers choice to purchase and therefor pay a tax based upon a decision. Everybody always refers back to the Regan years when we had a balanced budget and no deficit. The difference during the Regan Years, sales tax was be collected and applied properly. Since then states have had increasing difficulties meeting financial demands. Perhaps if we all payed our fair share over the years as required by law, the current situation would be different, unemployment would probably be lower, teachers would still be teaching instead laid off…… If avoiding paying sales tax is that big a deal move to MT, DE or NH.

    1. Xolodnyj says:

      SW – Have you lost your fricking mind? You and people like you think the answer is just to run away (quote “move to ME, DE, or NH). We made our choices by dealing with business, online, that do not have a sales tax. If the business is in the state of MD, THEN they can charge a sales tax, but if I were to purchase something in DE, should I pay a tariff once I cross state lines? NO! And it should be the same with online purchases.
      Several states has no income tax, instead they have a sales tax. Some states are vice versa. Maryland is one of many states that have both. We don’t have a choice on paying taxes. We do make purchases here. Property taxes have went up as well as sales tax (6% I do believe) and it is higher depending on what goods you buy. When new taxes are purpose they were suppose to be designated for specific things. Unfortunately the government misuses those funds all the time. Money we paid for to improve education, once taken from us, the state decide to use it for something else and then next year they claimer for a special tax to support education. We all know that taxes goes towards fixing roads, education, etc and WE PAY THEM. But nothing ever gets fixed and the education problems still remain. And as far as businesses goes, make your stuff more affordable? The Malls remain empty because people don’t have the money to be frivolous anymore. With a gallon of gas is astronomical, as well as the rise in cost to heat and cool your home, which in turn makes the price of food in the grocery stores go up, we can’t go shopping. We all know there is a recession going on but the business should don’t know it.
      So when people decide to save, YOU think its a-ok for state to tax more. People like you always throw up the “It’s for the children” excuse, but i have a sneaking suspicious that you are a representative for the state of MD.
      Before the State invades my internet transaction or raise another cent on my income and/or property, I would like to see their books. Show me what you spent money on over the last five years.

      1. SW says:

        Internet sales were never intended to be Tax Free. If you go back and read Bellas v Hess and Quill v N. Dakota the Supreme Court was unable to enforce the collection of sales taxes then as it was a “significant burden” then as technology was not in place. The court further stated not to disregard man and his ingenuity to solve the problem of multijurisdictional tax collection and remittance. The simple fact is many are loosing their jobs as consumers have turned to misconcieved tax free internet shopping. To this day the law of the land specifically says that sales and use taxes are due the jurisdiction where the resident uses the item purchased. So yes if you go to DE, NH or MT and buy something tax free and bring it back to your home state, you are required by law to remit sales and use taxes due. Sorry it is the law. This has been a recognized problem since the 60’s and now technology has made it possible for businesses of any size the calculate, collect and remit sales taxes due in tax jurisdiction in the USA. Unfortunately for me you and everyone else until the sales and use tax laws are repealed or changed the tax is due whether it is collected at time of purchase or submitted on your state tax return as required. currently mall vacancy rates are over 20% and climbing due the unfair advantage of perceived tax free internet shopping. Jump into the future and imagine towns with no shops, no jobs, and vacant malls.Towns are unable to generate revenue increasing the pressure to levy higher property taxes and fees Or perhaps the model in Finland works better where they pay 45% Income tax as well as VAT taxes and !00% tax on cars. The one aspect everyone fails to recognize is the alternative impacts going forward. If I have the income to buy a fancy car and need to buy a part I pay my fair share. Currently the economic class hurting the most are lower income families. Lower income families do not have the means or credit to enjoy tax free shopping on the internet. So once again the lower class is stuck with paying sales tax so you and others can save a few bucks on TV. In Florida many boat owners are buying expensive electronics and boat parts via the Internet to avoid the tax. It is time for everyone to realize the consequences of their actions. West Virgina had to enact a tax on food to make up for the budget shortfall, Should the Mainstreet Fairness Act pas West Virginia will repeal the food tax. So would you like to pay tax on food or the occasional TV. I am almost certain a family can consume more value in food than the occasional TV. Other states want to repeal the death tax leaving more successive generations should the Mainstreet Fairness Act pass. Sales taxes are the fairest form of taxation. I would rather make the choice to purchase something or not based upon if I have the money in the bank or not and be taxed at that time when I am able to make the contribution for the services I utilize. However, should property taxes increase that is a bigger one time reduction from my pay check. Or as in Canada the have a 15% PST and 15% GST tax on goods. There are alternatives to sales taxes however I guarantee they are far more invasive. Maintaining individual state autonomy giving us the right to vote at a state level regarding the taxes we pay is by far the best system. Please start lobbying your state to abolish all state sales taxes, that is the beauty of the system. The Mainstreet Fairness Act will simply allow states to enforce existing tax law. This is in no way new tax.

  16. Bill says:

    They raised the tuition at the colleges after they gave illegals instate rates? They are raising the tolls to pay for raods that have been paid for for years? They raided the lottery that was to pay for education? They now would like to charge for online purchases that we already pay delivery charges? HOW MUCH MORE Maryland. You people keep putting these As..Hol…es back in becuase we are a DEMOCRATIC state. We will be a welfare state soon because the average worker makes less than the freeloaders on the systems you jack wads keep in place? If you think I donot know what I am talking about? Spend a couple hours in the counties at the health department and the housing agency. watch what the poor folk drive and how many babies they have? Ask them why they need passports and Birth certificates for travel vacations? I will keep trying to vote the bast…rds out but Delaware is looking very good.

    1. chalkie says:

      You tell them Bill. I am tired of going to a food store and watching people paying with independence cards. Most are dressed better then me and have better cars then me. What is wrong with this picture. You have generation after generation on welfare and they expect, like we owe them welfare. Get off thier butts and get a job, stop being baby makers so you don’t have to get a job. I know a women living by me, Her mom was on welfare, she is on it and now her daughter is on it. Her daughter has a kid like every other year so she don’t have to get off of it. I am tired of giving to people who never contribute to the system. Now they are giving this stuff away to the illegals. If they are illegal the have no rights and do not deserve this. Wake up people!!!!

    2. Anon says:

      Bill … you are an IDIOT

      The fact is that national Republican economic theory has filtered down to mean reduced revenue in all 50 states

      Pay the bill the on the national level and state legislatures stop having financial problems

      1. TaxesAreALiarsBlankCheck says:

        anon im not sure you understand this but when you lose 9 million jobs raising the taxes on the other guys doesnt foster economic expansion. “making up for lost revenue” one cannot create expenses and then say that these new purchases must be funded with lost revenue. the fact is that revenue should come first before expenses. that is responsible gov’t.

  17. chalkie says:

    What I think is funny after our governor claimed he and his office created 30000 new jobs, and the federal government releases thier findings say maryland lost jobs. Now all of a sudden he is looking into getting more tax money. Well if we are hurting for money so bad, how can this idiot take a trip overseas that cost the state more then they released in the news article. that article said the trip cost the state for the governor and the 4 people in his party over $125000. that didn’t include all the aides, security and all the food and places for the other 60 some people who went with them. Someone please impeach this idiot and the rest of our government. they are spending money that we don’t have and want more.

  18. steve says:

    Thank you, once again to the lovely democratic voters for electing this clueless, brain dead butt hole to the governors office. Will you all ever learn your lesson?! O’Failure is a waste of time and money!

  19. chalkie says:

    You know another thing thats really funny. Glendening and O’Malley are the only 2 governors that have had a problem with money in the state. Schaffer and Erlich both left with surpluses. Now Schaffer was a Democrat and found away to save money. If you noticed mostly the democrats that have a problems in this state with budget problems and blame everyone and everything for thier problems. So Anon how do you explain this? Our population in this state has had a steady increase for more then the last 30 years, more population = more taxes. Our tourism is higher then it has ever been = more money. And with the recession more people have taken vacations to O.C. then going abroad to other states = more money. Now you cannot possibly believe that its the Republicans in the federal government making that much of a differance to our state. O’Malley has increased taxes all over the place including the state sales tax and cannot balance a budget with out increasing something else. Do the math, every other governor for the past 20 years has made a cuts to help people out and still had a surplus. Whats wrong with this picture????

  20. buy local girl says:

    I work for a small LOCAL company that sells specialized items. The fact that people can use our store as a “library” to check out the merchandise and then buy it cheaper on line (because the on line people have no skill or warehouses- they have to pay very few employees!) is putting us out of business. Add to this problem the fact that all of those online sales are not contributing to the state sales tax and it is another incentive NOT to buy locally. People are thrilled to save the 5%. If this continues then local business will not exist and a lot of people will lose their jobs. If I have to charge you sales tax, then your on line vendor should have to charge you as well….

    1. Jonathan Chiles says:

      it’s 6%, remember… O’Malley had them increase it last term..

    2. Anon says:

      You don’t have to pay shipping like online vendors.

      The fact is that even if MD began charging sales tax for internet sales for businesses in the US …. those businesses would move out of the country and no state sales tax could be claimed

      What needs to change is the national business climate and all of this penny pinching will disappear

      1. buylocalgirl says:

        Yes, we do – you fool. How do you think we get the product into our warehouse??? Oh my god!

      2. Latief says:

        the estate pays the taxes, there sholud have been assets enough to take care of the tax obligationyou probably disbursed assets before the estate return was closed whereby, if you were the administrator are having a hard time taking care of what was your responsibility regarding the estateit will go away when it is paid

  21. Herman Glimsher says:

    ANON, YOU’RE AN IDIOT……..YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE REPUBLICAN PLATFORM.

    NOW, OWE-MALLEY WANTS HIS CUT OF THAT INTERNET BUSINESS…………………..SO, THERE WON’T BE ANY ADVANTAGE TO PURCHASING ONLINE SINCE WE’LL HAVE TO PAY SALES TAXES AND IN SOME CASES SHIPPING……………….OWE-MALLEY SUCKS!!!!!!

    1. Anon says:

      Herman DOOSHBAG …..

      I know the Republican platform by heart …. I get paid to rip it to shreads every day here in DC

      Try again … ROOKIE

      1. Dinger says:

        If you are being “paid to rip it to shreds every day here in DC”, your employer isn’t getting his money’s worth! You are not backing up your statements with facts, just parroting the same words over and over again.

      2. TROLL ALERT says:

        ANON is a TROLL. Don’t respond and he goes away. He gets paid by WJZ to post inflammatory posts to get you to hit the website more often.

      3. Anon says:

        Small Dinger ….

        How do you back up anything with facts in an online forum? You can’t because it is not the appropriate place to do so.

        The fact is that republican economic theory of the last 30 years has hurt the states immensely.

      4. Anon says:

        People call other posters trolls because they can’t defend their own argument

        back to the minors … ROOKIE

      5. TaxesSuck says:

        while you argue we continue to lose jobs. if you have answers which you dont you can post them. apparently “theory” isnt doing what you expected by either party.

  22. Xolodnyj says:

    It’s a funny statement. “What can be done to recapture the money”. It sounds as either we would be back taxed or they are going to have to figure a way to get people from going to the internet then just around the corner.
    The real reason the state is losing money in sales tax is because the price of a gallon of gas. People are spending less EVERYWHERE, locally AND online. People are making a determination on what is a need and what is a want. People are not confident that they are going to have a job tomorrow, so you have to shore up as much as you can because you feel that any moment you are going to lose your job no matter how well your perform it. What a horrible way to live.
    And yet I feel the State government don’t get it. They feel entitled to our money. They feel that THEY are losing out when it is the people who are losing out. They feel that for every dollar that we keep OR spend, that they should get a cut of it. They already get a cut for every dollar that we earn, but for the money we have left over, they want that too.

    1. Anon says:

      You are correct. Supply side economics failed the country.

  23. Dinger says:

    How can O’Malley want to “recapture” money that he didn’t get in the first place? That revenue wasn’t “lost”, they just never received it!

  24. Debbie says:

    When will they wake up and start looking for ways to cut spending instead of looking to increase taxes ?

    1. Anon says:

      Why do we need to cut spending? That would only weaken govt and make it even more costly

      The cut spending is a weak one.

      1. overtaxed says:

        “Why do we need to cut spending?”

        That would be because government spending is out of control. O’Malley spends like there is no tomorrow, raiding funds to cover his over-expenditures, than having to raise tolls, taxes and fees to cover it. But that cover is a band-aid at best, what happens next year when there isn’t enoough revenue?

        How ’bout Obama, 1.5 trillion per year in debt. And you say we need more spending.

        A “weaker” government would suit me just fine, as Maryland government wants more and more power over peoples’ lives.

        Democrats desire for money and power is boundless.

        Good thing you are on thier side, as your arguments are the same ol’ tired BS.

      2. Jackie Aurburn says:

        Cut spending would weaken govt? OMG.. you have the right name “anon” ..

  25. Anon says:

    Tax millionaires more and forget about taxing online sales

  26. john says:

    just another way for the state to take money out of our pockets

    1. Nandadulal says:

      I would always like to help out with your stohos. Just let me know and maybe I can arrange it. I don’t know if I would have the patience you have, though. After watching you in action, I know for sure that it’s a whole lot harder than I imagined. I might panic, or start to cry if the baby wouldn’t go to sleep and. There’s a lot of pressure. On second, though?/

    2. Best says:

      Ok Erin, these are really my kids. My sis is just ororbwing them for a bit. haha! OMG, I love these shots. I want you to take my boys pics sometime when Im in town. Amazing Job! And your right, shes def the best hairdresser EVER! XOXO

  27. jon says:

    stop me if am wrong what was the boston tea party about

    1. Anon says:

      taxation without representation …..

      We have representation so work on another theory

  28. Anonymous says:

    “I am concerned that the failure of any subset of retailers to collect and remit sales tax has a negative impact on Maryland’s overall fiscal strength, including our ability to meet our priority investments such as public school construction or maintaining our Transportation Trust Fund,” O’Malley wrote.

    O’Malley is a pathological liar. The highway trust fund is regularly robbed to pay for welfare and other general fund items. He’s playing a shell game with you folks and most people are either too stupid to know it and/or care, and the rest are in on the scam. For those of you who know better and do care, I don’t know why you stay in Maryland. I was born and bred there and love the place, or at least the place I remember, but I packed up and left long ago.

  29. Jackie Aurburn says:

    I hear Mr. Franchot wants to recycle Used toilet tissue to be used in his compost pile at his home..

  30. JL says:

    My understanding of the law is that internet retailers in MD are retailers like any other. We were never NOT required to collect sales tax. I sell items online, I live in MD, I collect sales tax when someone in the state of MD makes a purchase. Simple.

    Consumers in MD are required to pay Use Tax. Period. It doesn’t matter whether the purchase is made at a brick-and-mortar store or online. If you make a purchase and do not pay sales tax at the time of the purchase, you owe 6% to the state of MD (with certain exceptions). Period. It is paid quarterly. THIS IS NOT A NEW TAX. It is a tax that already exists that many do not bother to pay. There is no reason to think it would not apply to online purchases.

    Anyone who chooses to shirk their responsibility to pay this tax because they made their purchase online and, “Oh, buying online is all NEW and laws haven’t caught up yet and HOW DARE THEY SLAM ME WITH NEW TAXES,” is like the child who cannot obey a rule and who requires their parent to specify EACH AND EVERY PARTICULAR SITUATION IN WHICH THE RULE APPLIES–“Do not steal candy before a meal, or after a meal, or when it is raining, or when it is sunny, or when you are hungry, or when you are not hungry…” FOR THE LOVE. Just pay the tax. It already a requirement. It is not confusing. It applies to online sales, and always has, because it applies to ALL sales (excluding certain items).

    I fail to see how enforcement aimed at people who just decide they should not have to pay an existing tax is anything other than a very clear cut issue. No new laws or taxes are necessary, only additional enforcement.

    1. florwj says:

      Actually – I beg to differ. Online purchases follow the same rules as mail order purchases. This is why sales tax is automatically added if the retailer has brick and mortar in the state of Maryland.

    2. Sajan says:

      Yes. You have the option to dcuedt EITHER your state and local income taxes OR your sales tax (based on a table, unless you have receipts for everything).

  31. Sheila says:

    The state and federal governments have
    all these incentives for illegals but want
    to keep looking for more ways for the
    American tax payers to pay for it

    STOP SENDING BILLIONS OVERSEAS
    STOP GIVING BENEFITS TO ILLEGALS

    and I guarantee our state and country will prosper

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