Lottery Post Journal

eBay letter points out dangers of proposed internet tax law

The Democrats in the US Senate are scheduled to introduce Internet tax legislation that will be extremely harmful.

Can you image trying to sell something on eBay, and then getting audited by some lawyer on the other side of the country because you didn't collect and pay sales tax?  Get ready:  if this thing passes, that's what you'll get.  Everything sold on the internet will be taxed, and, like always, it's individuals and small businesses that will be broken by it.

Here's the letter I received today from eBay:

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Congress is considering online sales tax legislation that is wrongheaded and unfair, and I am writing to ask for your help in telling Congress "No!" to new sales taxes and burdens for small businesses.

Whether you're a consumer who loves the incredible selection and value that small businesses provide online, or a small-business seller who relies on the Internet for your livelihood, this legislation potentially affects you. For consumers, it means more money out of your pocket when you shop online from your favorite seller or small business shop owner. For small business sellers, it means you would be required to collect sales taxes nationwide from the more than 9,600 tax jurisdictions across the U.S. You also would face the prospect of being audited by out-of-state tax collectors. That's just wrong, and an unnecessary burden on you.

Big national retailers are aggressively lobbying Congress to pass online sales tax legislation to "level the playing field" with Amazon. And, as they compete with big retail, Amazon is advocating for this legislation too, while at the same time they are seeking local tax exemptions across the country to build warehouses. This is a "big retail battle" in which small businesses and consumers have a lot to lose. But eBay is fighting, as we have for more than 15 years, to protect small online businesses and sellers and ensure healthy competition, value, and selection that benefit consumers online.

The solution is simple: if Congress passes online sales tax legislation, we believe small businesses with less than 50 employees or less than $10 million in annual out-of-state sales should be exempt from the burden of collecting sales taxes nationwide. To put that in perspective, Amazon does more than $10 million in sales every 90 minutes. So we believe this is a reasonable exemption to protect small online businesses. That's what we're fighting for, and what big companies such as Amazon are fighting against.

I hope you agree that imposing unnecessary tax burdens on small online businesses is a bad idea. Join us in letting your Members of Congress know they should protect small online businesses, not potentially put them out of business. Click here to make your voice heard. Together, I believe our voices can make a difference.


John Donahoe
President and CEO
eBay Inc.

Video describes how Internet works

This is a pretty cool description of how a web page is delivered on the Internet.

It's cool because it makes the process fairly easy to picture, but in reality it is much more complex for a sophisticated site like Lottery Post, because a web page doesn't just come from one server, and there are dozens or maybe even hundreds of "round trips" like the one described in the video to dozens of servers for every web page you see.  For example, the web page you are viewing right now has elements that come from perhaps a dozen different servers from several companies.

A large part of my job is knowing how all these "pathways" for data and images from different servers will be requested for each page, and structuring the pages and requests so as many can happen as possible at the same time, in order to reduce the amount of time it takes for a page to assemble and load.  Also, I try to structure pages so that the minimum number of requests can happen before a page can be shown to you and you can start to use it, even when there are parts of the page that have not finished loading.  That's why you may see the browser's "loading" icon (a spinning icon) continue to spin even after you see the page for the first time.