A Hex on Your Taxes

Politicians and Web retailers want to keep e-sales levy-free. But others are vexed

Call him a relic, but Clifford Waldeck likes doing business off-line. His 5,000-sq.-ft. office-supply store in downtown San Francisco rings up about $1.6 million a year selling paper clips and printer cartridges to customers from the nearby financial district. "Our business is based on people being in the neighborhood," he says. But Waldeck fears his walk-in patrons will soon realize that they can buy all the stationery they want from stores on the Internet--and never pay a dime of sales tax. As vice mayor of Mill Valley, a San Francisco suburb, Waldeck has another reason to be irked. Tax-free e-commerce transactions...

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