Oklahoma cities need revenue from online sales taxes

Published: December 14, 2013

Regarding “Fix needed for unfair dual sales tax system” (Our Views, Dec. 4): Not only are e-commerce sales taxes doable, they're essential for the economic health of every city and town in Oklahoma. The online vendor may not have a physical presence in Oklahoma. Nevertheless, municipalities maintain the streets and roads that delivery trucks — including the U.S. Postal Service — use in ever-increasing numbers. Marketplace equity and fairness should be protected for the small-town businesses already committed to their hometown.

Those businesses are key to funding our cities and towns now and in the future. As the editorial points out, e-commerce taxes are already due by current law. But the “voluntary” submission is difficult to document and enforce. Oklahoma is the only state in the nation in which municipalities are primarily limited to sales taxes for operating expenses. Consequently, it's critical that Oklahoma lead the e-fairness effort at all levels.

To date, the Oklahoma congressional delegation doesn't support collection of e-commerce sales taxes; state leaders appear to be relying on the federal government to lead the way. For the long-term financial stability of Oklahoma's cities, and thus the state, this needs to change.

Elizabeth B. Waner, Edmond

Waner serves on the Edmond City Council. The views above are her own and not necessarily those of the council as a whole.


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