Letter to the Editor

Sales tax dilemma

Those of us who order things on the Internet know that sales tax is collected on some items and not on others. When sales tax is not collected, the parts of government that have sales tax revenue miss out on some. This significantly affects local governments that rely heavily on sales tax income. And the declining sales tax revenue creates a dilemma for the Republican-controlled Missouri House, Senate, and Governor's Office.

To keep the sales tax flowing, a law must be passed requiring that sales tax be collected on all internet sales. However, such a law cannot be implemented without the support of many who belong to the party of lower taxes and smaller government, long-term guiding principles of the Republican Party.

The governor and some other Republicans have already indicated their support for such a law, so we know they will forgo their party's conservative principles in favor of a new tax.

As more local governments face funding shortfalls and must become smaller to balance their budgets, the Republicans will come under more pressure and will have to decide: Should parts of government be allowed to shrink or should a new tax be mandated? That is, should we have lower taxes and smaller government, or should taxes and government continue as usual?

This is a major dilemma for conservatives who truly believe in lower taxes and smaller government. But I think we know what the final outcome will be.

Gary L. Gaines, Cape Girardeau