Friday, 19 October, 2018

Sales tax collection case headed to Supreme Court

Sales tax collection case headed to Supreme Court Sales tax collection case headed to Supreme Court
Patty Aguilar | 13 January, 2018, 07:27

The years-long legal fight over Texas' political maps is expected to go before the U.S. Supreme Court for oral argument this spring, creating the possibility that some of the state's congressional and state House districts might be scrambled before the November elections.

The move sets up the court for a potential blockbuster term - setting standards on voting rights relating to redistricting - before the next nationwide round of redistricting begins after the 2020 Census.

Friday's decision to combine the Texas cases and hear oral arguments in the spring came nearly four months after the Supreme Court, acting on a Texas request, blocked the lower court's efforts to begin redrawing the districts to allow time to consider whether to review the rulings. The high court in September put both lower court rulings that had invalidated the Republican-drawn districts on hold in September. Law professor Rick Hasen from the University of California, Irvine, an election law expert, summarized the cases as "big, important, and exceedingly complex".

For decades under the Voting Rights Act, Texas was a on a list of states needing the federal government's approval of election laws, a safeguard for minority voting rights called preclearance.

In challenging the South Dakota law, however, Wayfair and its allies - including companies like Overstock and NewEgg - pointed to the Supreme Court's prohibition in 1992 while arguing that Congress is still debating states' powers to levy online taxes on all sellers.

Companies now "can instantly tailor their marketing and overnight delivery of hundreds of thousands of products to individual customers based on their IP addresses; these companies can surely calculate sales tax from a zip code".

That old ruling, 1992's Quill Corp. v.

"This is an encouraging step toward fairness in how sales taxes are collected by all retailers, whether or not they have a physical store", NSGA president and CEO Matt Carlson said in a statement Friday.

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That has angered Democrats, who say those probes are distractions from the Russian Federation investigations. And as the top Democrat on the committee, she didn't need authorization from Grassley to release it.

Years of declining consumer purchases at retail stores and malls, as shoppers increasingly chose to buy online, have cost state treasuries huge amounts of sales tax revenue, but the Supreme Court might be coming to their rescue. "The action throughout the nation is extensive and complex", the state's appeal said.

Three current justices - Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Anthony Kennedy - have expressed doubts about the Quill ruling.

And they contend that it should be up to Congress, not the courts, to remedy any problems that local governments say they have.

In 2013, in an effort to insulate the state's congressional districts from further litigation, the state legislature enacted the interim map on a permanent basis, allowing the hastily drawn map to become the state's official map.

The SEC case is a technical issue that could affect how other regulatory agencies do their work.

The case is brought by Raymond Lucia, a former California radio host and investment adviser known for his "Buckets of Money" strategy.

The case is Lucia v. SEC.

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