If reports are true in the Daily Paper, Idaho has a secret tax system administered by a commission which grants sales tax breaks to some businesses, but not others.
Ken Dey, the reincarnated business editor at the Daily Paper broke a major story Thursday when he revealed a secret tax deal between the Idaho Tax Commission and Cabela’s.
We all know the quiet way to avoid the Idaho sales tax–now at 6%–is to buy out of state. The GUARDIAN even made mention of the potential loss of revenues if there was a big shift to out of state and internet shopping.
Catalog merchants with physical locations in state like CostCo, R.E.I., Sears and many others collect and pay sales tax. However, the big guns at the outdoor store don’t play by the same rules. They claim it is such a wonderful benefit to have a Cabela’s store that catalog sales should not be taxed.
They got the Idaho Tax Commission to agree that catalog sales are a different company than the retail outlet–despite the same merchandise, company name, etc.
One would think that a store specializing in hunting supplies would be able to recognize that if , “It looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and flies like a duck, chances are it IS A DUCK.”
In their zeal to attract more business, more jobs, more cars, more people, our government agents constantly make concessions to the big boys. This one is simply wrong–if not illegal.
This deal is so wrapped in camouflage the only you can find it is by smell. The tax commission refused to discuss or show the daily paper the concession deal and would not even confirm or deny it exists. That folks, is secret government cloaked in camo.
We don’t want to know any confidential tax return information. This is a SECRET POLICY which Ken Dey has revealed. How many other secret private deals has this commission struck. Does your neighbor get an exemption from income tax because he is richer than you? Secrecy in tax policy destroys any faith we may have in our government. They won’t even tell us the rules!
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