Posts tagged ‘Scott Maybee’

I'm Confused About this Interstate Commerce Thing

In Raich, the Supreme Court determined that marijuana grown, harvested, and consumed at the same house in California constituted interstate commerce and therefore was subject to federal rather than state regulation (via the Consitution's commerce clause).

However, apparently cigarettes purchased over the Internet from an Indian Nation within the boundaries of NY state and consumed in Washington state are not interstate commerce and are therefore subject to Washington State sales tax:

On Thursday, a federal judge ordered tribal Internet
cigarette vendor Scott Maybee to turn over his list of Washington
customers who purchased cigarettes through his Web site, between November 7, 2004 and April 1, 2005, writes the Buffalo News.
The Washington Department of Revenue is sending letters to those
appearing on Maybee's list asking for full payment of uncollected taxes
from their purchases.

Actually, it is probably not sales tax involved but "use tax", the cutesy way most states get around limitations on taxing interstate commerce.  Basically, they invented a thing called use tax that applies only on goods that you use in state and on which no sale tax was paid to any state.  While the use tax legal evasion is common to most states,  I have written before about other such cute evasions Washington State uses to collect taxes where they are not supposed to.