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FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR

Governor Perry: Veto HB 2403, the Texas Amazon Tax!

I like Texas. The state has many great things going for it, including a friendly tax and business climate. However Texas has to keep working to stay on top, so when South Carolina is backing down from its refusal to work with Amazon, and Tennessee has dropped its Amazon tax bill, it’s disappointing and frustrating to see Texas moving forward with punitive taxation against an innovative business that creates jobs in Texas.

So Governor Perry, do the right thing and veto HB 2403. Make Texas an example and strike down this attempt to use government to reverse the free market’s choice of Amazon as a winner in the marketplace.

Texas of all states ought to know the importance of innovation and new business models. Texas made its mark by finding oil, taking it from the ground, and selling it off. Cheap and easy oil was devastating to old businesses. Everyone who relied on horses being vital for transport was hit by the ability to use oil to move around. Texas was so important, even Standard Oil had to rush in and get a piece of the action.

Texas boomed on the new developments. Texas cities grew fivefold, from Beaumont to Dallas to El Paso, from the turn of the century to 1930. This growth in wealth and prosperity clearly has served the basis of the growth since, turning Texas into the dynamic engine of America today. Imagine if, back in 1920, buggy whip makers got together and passed special taxes on the new Texas oil, attempting to smother it in the crib and mitigate the threat to the old ways of transport?

That’s what HB 2403 represents, as do similar bills in other states like California. The old way of doing business is threatened by the new way. And where free market conservatives see a great opportunity, where interstate commerce over the Internet gives the taxpayers a break for once, these tax-and-spend Amazon haters see a “loophole” that must be “fixed” immediately with new, more burdensome taxation.

It’s not the place of government to implement punitive taxation to pick winners and losers in the marketplace. It’s up to the public, the shoppers operating in the free market, to do that. Texans are choosing Amazon.com to save money for other things, stretching their dollars further in the face of the Obama economy. Governor Perry, please veto HB 2403 and take a stand for the principles that have made Texas a great place to live and work.

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