LETTERS: Marketplace Fairness Act boosts Amazon, reduces competition

To the editor:

Regarding Laura Myers’ online sales tax report (“Online sales tax push heats up,” Sept. 20 Review Journal), as a former online retailer, I’d like to share a few points regarding the Marketplace Fairness Act.

First, the Marketplace Fairness Act violates a core value of our nation: that no tax shall be imposed without representation. It is true the business is represented at the federal level, but in most cases not the state or local municipality. Levying tax on commerce with no representation led to the Boston Tea Party and ultimately the U.S. seeking independence.

Second, the idea that instituting sales taxes on e-commerce sales will create a level playing field for traditional retailers is flawed. Most e-commerce already collects sales tax, since operations save more by reducing shipping costs than by avoiding proxy. Smaller online retail shipping costs are often between 25 and 40 percent of the total order. By having distribution centers in almost every state, the retailer can save substantially more than is offset by collecting sales tax.

The reality is that levying sales tax on all e-commerce will force the remaining online retailers to replicate multiwarehouse distribution such as Amazon to stay competitive. Amazon supports the Marketplace Fairness Act because it established proxy in almost every state and is required to collect sales tax. Unfortunately, the Marketplace Fairness Act only accomplishes two things: Amazon will level the playing field with smaller e-commerce companies, reducing competition, and the U.S. government will open Pandora’s box by levying a tax without representation.



Stadium not smart

To the editor:

I believe the Las Vegas City Council members who are against the downtown soccer stadium project are correct. This project needs to be more than one-dimensional and taxpayers’ money should not be involved. Further, moving 18,000-plus people in and out of the area would be a nightmare with our current roads. It would be like stuffing 100 pounds into a 50 pound sack.

There’s been no mention of the cost of building additional infrastructure (streets, etc.). Where would those millions of dollars come from? Taxpayers.

Keep in mind that Las Vegas does not have the mass of population from surrounding cities to draw from to fill professional venues, and as history has shown, the city only supports winners. If there are losing seasons, and the venue is a loser, the taxpayers would foot the bill.

Las Vegas is very unique. Every day, citizens have many choices on how to spend their recreational dollar. City leaders need to make a business decision with their heads, not their hearts.



Stadium dreams

To the editor:

It looks to me like the Findlay family really wants this downtown Las Vegas soccer stadium. The Goodmans and others just won’t give up, either.

Let’s see, Las Vegas has never been able to acquire any kind of professional sports team because of legalized gambling. This stadium would cost the taxpayers millions. Seems to me like just another way to pamper some rich folks who will not even attend events after the fun wears off for their kids, leaving the taxpayers are stuck once again.

Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian deserves extra special thanks for standing her ground.



CBS’s free ad for Hillary

To the editor:

On Sunday night, CBS aired a new program called “Madam Secretary,” starring Tea Leoni. The viewer will watch this show and start to make comparisons to Hillary Clinton. Although Ms. Leoni is younger than Mrs. Clinton, she has the same facial features, hair color and hairstyle and wears similar jewelry.

In the show, Ms. Leoni is happily married with kids and comes off as a very likable, credible person — everything that Mrs. Clinton isn’t. Is “Madam Secretary” an attempt to soften up the public’s view of Hillary Clinton for the upcoming 2016 election?



Newton’s animals

To the editor:

I read with interest and questions the article on Wayne Newton’s ranch (“History for only $30 million,” Sunday Review-Journal). Photos showed an empty aviary and empty horse stables.

I have admired Mr. Newton’s talent and involvement in our community, but I question where all the animals he has acquired and bred over the years have gone.

He had 54 Arabian horses. He rescued more than 200 lovebirds from a hoarder in Pahrump in 2011, and he had many other different kinds of birds and other animals. Doesn’t anyone else wonder what happened to all the animals he collected over time? The missing horses are very disturbing, as Arabian horses are favorites for the brutal horse tripping events held around the country and in our own backyard.

When you take in animals, you have a responsibility to care for them, especially if you breed them for your own pleasure. We see time and time again people getting animals on a whim, who then end up getting rid of them for various reasons.

Mr. Newton is accountable for the animals’ well-being after promising to give them a home. It seems like it wasn’t a permanent home, but one with swinging doors, a sad reality for the animals.

We need an exotic animal ordinance that stops people from acquiring animals on an impulse. Too often, people get these exotic breeds with good intentions, but good intentions are not enough.



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