Las Vegas Sun

October 16, 2019

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Money where his mouth is: Sandoval pays tax on Internet buy

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

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Gov. Brian Sandoval sent 30 cents to the Nevada Department of Taxation to cover the tax on a pair of cufflinks he bought online on eBay.

Gov. Brian Sandoval might be the most honest taxpayer in the state.

Sandoval said today he sent in 30 cents to the Nevada Department of Taxation for a pair of $3.99 cufflinks he bought on eBay.

The purchase of the cufflinks, with the city of Reno logo, did not include sales tax. Citizens are supposed to mail their tax on online purchases to the state, but almost no one ever does. (The Department of Taxation has been unable to provide an exact count.)

Sandoval last month reached an agreement with Amazon to begin collecting the sales tax. It was the first step toward addressing what brick-and-mortar stores saw as an unfair advantage—online stores did not collect sales taxes, which are 8.1 percent in Clark County.

It might have caused groans from those who like the illicit discount that comes with buying online sales-tax free, but it is also estimated to bring in millions of dollars a year for the state.

Sandoval campaigned with a promise to not raise taxes. But said it was not a new tax, but one people were supposed to be paying all along. When asked by the Las Vegas Sun, Sandoval said he did not recall making an internet purchase from a retailer that did not collect the tax. (Stores with a retail presence in the state, like Apple and Best Buy, do collect the sales tax on online purchases.)

After a state board meeting on Tuesday, Sandoval disclosed his purchase and remittance of sales tax.

When a reporter noted that postage cost more than the amount he remitted to the state Tax Department, he disclosed that he had sent it inter-office mail.

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