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Oklahoma Lawmakers want you to pay taxes on all the stuff you buy online…

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You better milk that Amazon Prime membership for all its worth.

In case you need even more proof that Oklahoma lawmakers hate us, the House decided last week to go after one of the few cool things our state has going for it and passed a bill that will require internet retailers to charge sales taxes on orders shipped to Oklahoma.


Oklahomans who don't pay sales tax when buying something online could be in for a rude awakening under a bill that has passed the Oklahoma House.

The legislation attempts to require many online retailers to add that tax to the purchase price.

Under current law, online retailers who maintain business operations in the state already add the tax, but those without stores do not, leaving consumers on the honor system to pay it later.

House Bill 2531, passed Thursday, has a long section expanding the definition of companies that must add the tax, including those that use Oklahoma warehouse and sales operations run by others.

Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid, said the expanded definition is sufficient to take in a large range of online retailers, including the Internet giant, Amazon. The company did not return a call for comment.

"This bill levels the playing field for Oklahoma businesses that employ Oklahomans," Caldwell said. "This removes the financial incentive for shoppers to buy outside of our state. It also will add money to our state to be invested in schools, roads, law enforcement and other services upon which we all depend. This is an investment in Oklahoma."

Yeah, that sounds like a great investment. Let's take the money we save by not paying an online sales tax and give it back to the state. You know, because they're so good at managing money and running things. Maybe with the extra sales tax they can afford to give another income tax cut to the wealthy?

Actually, I thought we were already supposed to pay Internet sales taxes on an honors system thing or something? As a law-abiding citizen who would never cheat or lie on my taxes, I know that's what I do:

Oklahoma has an average combined state and local tax rate of about 9 percent.

State law now requires residents to keep track of their purchases from out-of-state retailers and pay a tax on their state return each year, but Caldwell said only 4 percent of taxpayers do so.

"This bill simply makes the collection of a tax that is already in statute more consistent," Caldwell said. "This is a tax all Oklahomans should be paying, but 96 percent are not. In a tight budget year, this legislation makes even more sense."

Wow. 4-percent of people actually tracked their Internet orders and pay back sales taxes? That's ridiculous. I'd pay sales tax on a new TV at Best Buy before I believe that number. Get me a list of these Abraham Lincoln and Eagle Scout wannabes so I know who to ask to housesit the next time I go out-of-town.

Anyway, you can read more about the legislation here. In all honesty, it's not that bad idea. The current system does give Amazon and other Internet retailers an unfair advantage and hurts local municipalities. I guess you can say it's common sense legislation, which is why we can probably expect it to stall in the Senate. I guess you don't have to order everything on your Amazon wish list just yet.

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