It’s Called Retail

Tony HuppertBy Tony Huppert, CEO, Team Oil Inc.

The controversy over who charges sales tax and who doesn’t charge sales tax fascinates me, i.e., sales tax collected by brick and mortar, versus online, and in-state online, versus out of state, etc.

The solution is simple, the 5th Amendment tells us: “No private property can be taken for public use with out proper compensation.”

All the government has to do is compensate the retailer for collecting sales tax, as instructed in the 5th Amendment. It is that simple.

 It cost private money to collect, process, and pay the sales tax to the government for public use.

I believe the brick and mortar stores are fighting the wrong fight. All retailers should receive a percentage of all the sales tax they collect to off set the expense of collecting sales tax, such as labor, credit card fees, etc.

What truly amazes me is why the intellectual wizards of the world haven’t figured this out. I often wonder how the collection of sales tax, with out compensation, gone on so long and nobody questions it?

Retailers survive on the small percentage of profit generated on each sale, not by donating their time and money collecting sales tax. Retailers just want payment for service rendered. Receiving a percentage of selling gas, hardware, cars, etc. is no different than collecting sales tax and receiving a percentage. That’s what we do. It pays the mortgage and wages.

The focus on ‘who collects sales tax’ should be changed to focusing on retailers ‘getting paid to collect sales tax’. Everyone in government that disperses the taxes get paid, retailers should get paid to collect it. Retailers will collect all the taxes the government needs if the retailers are compensated for it. Why is this so difficult to figure out?

Tony Huppert is a Wisconsin businessman of 40 years and CEO of Team Oil Inc., the family-owned and operated Team Oil Travel Center, and Subway in Spring Valley, Wis.

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