In the past week, we’ve talked a lot about the new administration’s propositions. As is expected when a new party takes the executive power, a few of the previous president’s initiatives, such as the National Counsil for the “digital economy”(Conseil National du Numérique), have been all but disbanded. In addition, despite Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault’s attitude of “refusing austerity while ensuring responsibility,” it’s expected that there will be some new tax propositions. We wrote earlier this week about the Google Tax being brought back up in the French senate – you can read that article to find out just how bad of an idea we think it is; however, Senator Philippe Marini, the senator who championed the Google Tax back in 2010, which passed and was ultimately removed months later after pressure from French businesses – it seems the Senator has eCommerce in his sights these days.
Philippe Marini’s Relationship with “Le Bunch Of Tubes”
Senator Philippe Marini doesn’t have what one would describe as an extensive knowledge of the internet – after all, his personal website is a .net domain with a web 1.0 layout managed by Google Sites – but that doesn’t entirely disqualify him from knowing what can be taxed. His finance background taught him that, where money flows, the government gets a big piece of that money, as long as they yell in a big circular room for enough time.
His eCommerce tax, which was previously bundled with the Google Tax but then abandoned, will cause eCommerce merchants to pay higher taxes on the goods they sell over the internet. As FEVAD, the French e-commerce advocacy group, pointed out in their in depth article[FR] about the proposed tax, this tax will obviously be passed on to the 31 million French online shoppers, as the margin of profit for eCommerce sites is so low, that they’ll have no other choice.
How do you spam what can’t be spammed?
While I’d love to call to action reader to spam Philippe Marini’s contact form by telling him how little he understand about eCommerce, and that, just like the Google Tax, the people will pay will ultimately be the French citizens, not the businesses, well, I just don’t think Philippe Marini checks his email that often. Ultimately, just like the Google Tax, I think eCommerce giants like Rue de Commerce will step in before its too late and kill this bill, but it will cost time and money just to remind the senate that, just because you’re low on money, doesn’t mean that the people and the business have to pay – sometimes reducing the amount of government that’s on the country’s payroll is more appropriate.