The most wonderful time of the year and all 366 days of 2012 will get a about seven percent more expensive for on-line shoppers in Pinellas County if the Florida legislature, which convened Tuesday, gets tough on online purchases. State Senator Jack Latvala and others realize that the state can’t continue to downsize public employees to solve its budget fiasco. Florida already has the smallest and worst paid public work force in the nation.
Instead, Latvala plans a very progressive coup: taxation. Many states, including Florida, already require citizens to pay taxes on internet purchases. People simply aren’t paying. In fact, the state of Florida looses an estimated $450 million annually in potential internet sales tax. Latvala wants to close the loophole that allows consumers to skip this step.
Several interest groups will celebrate the taxation of internet purchases. First in line should be the Republicans as the tax windfall will land in the state budget. Hopeful will be state employees, without a raise in five years. Delighted will be local merchants, beneficiaries of a more level playing field.
Cautious will be delivery companies, with fewer packages to transport. Many economists credit the improved December jobs numbers to the hiring of temporary delivery workers by these companies. Tightening the tax loophole will not benefit delivery companies.
The UPS man is the subject of song and poetry. Alice N. Persons’ poem “Why I Have Crush on You, UPS Man” is included in Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor’s latest anthology, Good Poems.
With permission, we reprint Alice N. Person’s poem, to lament the potential closing of a loophole:
Why I Have a Crush on You, UPS Man by Alice N. Persons
You bring me all the things I order
Are never in a bad mood
Always have a jaunty wave as you drive away
Look good in your brown shorts
We have an ideal uncomplicated relationship
You’re like a cute boyfriend with great legs
Who always brings the perfect present
(why, it’s just what I wanted!)
and then is considerate enough to go away
oh, UPS man, let’s hop in your clean brown truck and elope!
Ditch your job, I’ll ditch mine
Let’s hit the road for Brownsville
And tempt each other
With all the luscious brown foods—
Roast beef, dark chocolate,
Brownies, Guinness, homemade pumpernickel, molasses cookies
I’ll make you my mama’s bourbon pecan pie
We’ll give all the packages away to kind looking strangers
Live in a cozy wood cabin
With a brown dog or two
And a black and brown tabby
I’m serious, UPS Man. Let’s do it.
Where do I sign?
Read more about Alice N. Persons in the article, “Poet Persons Turns Publisher With Moon Pie Press.” Check out her company and purchase her democratically-priced books at moonpiepress.com.