Illinois senator pushes for Internet sales tax

dick durbin tax your internets senator illinois v2

Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, intends to introduce a bill after Easter that would force online retailers to collect local sales tax for online purchases. Currently, Americans who shop online at sites such as Amazon, Overstock or iTunes don’t always pay the same taxes as they would if they bought products in person at a brick-and-mortar business. Durbin says he wants to level the field for these brick-and-mortar companies.

The bill, called the Main Street Fairness Act, follows the train of thought from previously introduced legislation bearing the same name. The July 2010 Main Street Fairness Act was sponsored by Rep William Delahunt from Massachusetts, but isn’t the only other legislation floating around in the political sphere with a digital enmity. Assemblymember Nancy Skinner introduced AB 153 early 2011 in California with the intent to enforce e-fairness. AB 153 builds off of a New York movement pushing many states to favor what have come to be know as “Amazon Bills,” because of the large online retailer’s tendency to push back against such legislation.

The hot Internet sales-tax topic has already led to showdowns between big Internet vendors and states. For example, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently announced the state’s sales tax would apply to online purchases made in Illinois, leading Amazon to subsequently withdraw from its small business affiliates within the state to avoid the tax.

The issue is not a one-sided one, and many opponents are questioning the idea that a lack of online sales tax will bankrupt states. The New York law that has set many of these movements in motion is now being challenged in court as being unconstitutional, and stepping on the toes of the Supreme Court’s 1992 Quill decision, which specifies that a state cannot impose a tax on companies without a physical presence in the state.

Whatever the outcome may be to this issue, it’s shaping up to be an ugly and drawn-out battle.


Apple banned from distributing some iPhone models in Germany

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

It's not all free money. Here's what to know before you try to mine Bitcoin

Mining Bitcoin today is harder than it used to be, but if you have enough time, money, and cheap electricity, you can still turn a profit. Here's how to get started mining Bitcoin at home and in the cloud.

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!

Fix those internet dead zones by turning an old router into a Wi-Fi repeater

Is there a Wi-Fi dead zone in your home or office? A Wi-Fi repeater can help. Don't buy a new one, though. Here is how to extend Wi-Fi range with another router you have lying around.

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering ergonomic mice alternatives. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.

These are the best indie games you can get on PC right now

Though many indie games now come to consoles as well, there's still a much larger selection on PC. With that in mind, we've created a list of the best indie games for PC, with an emphasis on games that are only available on PC.

Want a MacBook that will last all day on a single charge? Check these models out

Battery life is one of the most important factors in buying any laptop, especially MacBooks. Their battery life is typically average, but there are some standouts. Knowing which MacBook has the best battery life can be rather useful.

Want a Dell laptop with an RTX 2060? Cross the new XPS 15 off your list

The next iteration of Dell's XPS 15 laptop won't come with an option for an RTX 2060, according to Alienware's Frank Azor. You could always opt for a new Alienware m15 or m17 instead.

Always have way too many tabs open? Google Chrome might finally help

Google is one step closer to bringing tab groups to its Chrome browser. The feature is now available in Google's Chrome Canady build with an early implementation that can be enabled through its flag system.