MANY PEOPLE shop online to avoid crowds and
sidestep state sales taxes. Under a 1992 U.S. Supreme
Court ruling, only businesses with a “physical presence” in a state, such as an office or retail outlet, must
collect sales tax on products sold within that state.
But those tax breaks are starting to slip away, as
state governments are looking for ways to pad their
budgets by collecting the money on Internet sales.
Companies that do business online only, offering
sales-tax-free shopping, are beginning to worry. New
York, one of the most aggressive tax-collecting states,
was recently sued by Seattle-based Amazon.com
over a new requirement that Web retailers must collect taxes on shipments to New York residents, even
if the seller is located elsewhere. The court found in
favor of New York, leaving Amazon on the hook to
charge sales tax.
Where does that leave you, the consumer?
Although it could take years to achieve a consensus
among the states to reach any kind of standardization process of taxing Internet sales, with those same
states looking for anything to fill budget shortfalls,
you could see more of them lining up to enforce a
state-by-state New York–style model sooner rather
that fits your child’s age and size, is correctly installed,
fits well in your vehicle and can be used properly
every time you drive. Parents buying a new booster
seat should try it out in their car and see how the seat
belt fits on their child.
WE PURCHASED an HDTV,
[not at Costco] and paid for
installation, which [we
were told] would be $50. On
delivery day they said it
would cost $100! Once they
arrived the TV didn’t fit our
cabinet because of [a fea-ture] that wasn’t shown in
the specs. They took it back
for replacement with a different brand that should fit.
But when they came back
they didn’t install it properly, and it didn’t work. I
also had to pay my cabinet-maker to dismantle the cabinet for installation each
time. I want a proper installation and reimbursement
for the additional costs!
Dana Point, CA
Car booster seat safety
The law says you should buckle up children. For
younger children up to 40 pounds, the government
recommends car seats. With or without a seat, all children should ride in the back seat until age 13.
The government recommends booster seats for
children over 40 pounds until they are 8 years old or
4 feet 9 inches tall. Booster seats are typically used by
children between the ages of 4 and 8.
Booster seats are designed to raise the child so
that the lap and shoulder seat belts fit properly.
High-back and backless booster seats are available.
They do not come with harness straps but are used
with the lap and shoulder seat belts in your vehicle,
the same way an adult rides. This design guides the
belts across a child’s lower hips and mid-shoulders
instead of the abdomen to protect the more vulnerable liver and spleen from injuries.
Not all booster seats are the same. No one seat is
the best or safest. A higher price does not mean the
seat is safer or easier to use. The best seat is the one
New credit limits
Experts at Market Watch.com, a financial and
investment Web site, are predicting that credit-card
issuers will scale back more than $2 trillion in available credit over the next 18 months, to protect against
defaults. The action will certainly
put more pressure on people
already struggling to get by.
With job losses in most key
states, cutting credit will put an
unprecedented squeeze on many
consumers. A credit reduction on those who may
have a $2,000 credit line
and are borrowing up to
the limit on an ongoing
basis could have a severe
impact. Worse, some
cuts are coming without warning, reducing
the credit line below
the current balance
and forcing the cardholder into a penalty.
Be aware! Keep an
eye on your disclosures
and credit-card statements to see if your limit
has been cut. Then, take
whatever steps necessary
to make sure you do not
go over the limit. C
AMY CAN TRELL
David Horowitz is a leading consumer advocate.
His “Fight Back!” commentaries are heard daily on
the Jones Radio Network. For stations and times,
check the radio page at www.fightback.com.
© 2009 FIGH T BACK! INC. ALL RIGH TS RESERVED.
DOCUMENT ALL of the sale,
delivery and cabinet costs.
Outline them in writ-
ing, including the
problems you’ve had
with sales reps and
installers. Call the
manager of that
store and arrange to
talk in person.
If they don’t make
able, send a letter,
with the outline, to
the company’s CEO at
national headquarters. Let
them know that if you do
not get a response you will
consider taking the store
manager to small claims
Update: Belle informed
me that, after she contacted
the company’s national headquarters, everything was
taken care of, including a
personal apology from the
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