The Sales Tax in the 21st Century

The Sales Tax in the 21st Century

The Sales Tax in the 21st Century

The Sales Tax in the 21st Century

Synopsis

Leading national experts examine the importance of sales tax as a revenue source in the U.S. and describe key factors that will determine its role in government revenue structures of the 21st century. This book offers a timely analysis of cutting-edge issues that affect both the private and the public sector, including reform, emerging technologies, interstate dimensions, auditing techniques, federal policy and more. Policymakers, tax administrators, analysts, and business professionals will find this work of great value.

Excerpt

For 65 years, the sales tax has continued to grow as a vital revenue source for state and local governments in the United States. In 1932, Mississippi was the first state to introduce the state sales tax, and by 1970 the sales tax had become the single- largest source of state tax revenues in this country. Today only five states--Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon--have chosen not to implement a sales tax.

In the past three decades, countries throughout the world have shifted their indirect tax structures toward the value-added tax. The sales tax has not only remained a vibrant revenue source in this country, but based on past history, it will most likely continue its role as the workhorse of state governments. However, the sales tax will face many challenges in the years to come. One threat is the possibility of a national sales tax. There are also the longer-term issues of rapidly changing administrative and compliance technologies, the shift of consumption away from tangible goods toward services, and the interstate nexus question.

In February of 1996 the National Tax Association and the Institute of Property Taxation co-sponsored a seminar in Clearwater, Florida, on the subject "The Sales Tax in the Twenty-first Century." The intent was to examine the sales tax from various perspectives--its interstate dimensions, the effect of federal policy, auditing procedures, exemptions, information technology, and impacts arising from international trade accords. William F. Fox, President of the National Tax Association, and Bill Cook, Executive Director of the Institute of Property Taxation, served as program co-chairs, and William Fox and Matthew N. Murray . . .

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