Saturday, December 16, 2006

Why keep an unenforceable tax around?

According to this report only 1,918 use tax returns have been filed so far in 2006. Anyone who lives in Tennessee is supposed to file a use tax return anytime they purchase an item online from a merchant outside the State. Clearly, many millions of online purchases have been made by Tennesseans this year and the huge majority have not filed a use tax return because of the hassle and time involved.

Why does the Dept of Revenue self righteously wag their finger at the citizens each year and tell us we should be paying a tax for which there is no easy and reasonable collection mechanism? Clearly, Tennessee has been balancing the State budget for many years without this uncollected and unenforceable tax. Why don't our elected representatives simply admit the obvious and eliminate this tax?

That would be too easy, of course. Government has an unquenchable appetite for our money and they will soon be reaching across State lines via the Streamlined Sales Tax. Our own Department of Revenue is playing a major role in this project.