Scott Coffman, founder and CEO of AEBN, the world’s largest adult video-on-demand technology company, proposes a coalition of Internet industry executives to recommend ways to help create more jobs and provide economic stimulus.
He believes the proposal to tax online commerce by New York Governor David Paterson, would have a stifling effect.
“Innovation, initiative and reach, the hallmarks of successful online businesses, should be encouraged,” said Mr. Coffman, whose company provides the technology and infrastructure that supports a network which includes some of the most visited websites on the Internet.
“The tax proposals being advanced by New York’s Governor Paterson are counter-productive. Government needs to take a positive approach that will leverage the enormous potential of e-Commerce to help turn the economy around. Together we can develop worthwhile approaches that will make more sense.” Mr. Coffman said he would begin to reach out to other executives in the Internet content field to propose a meeting as soon as feasible.
The Paterson administration wants to extend New York’s four percent sales tax to all digital purchases — including music, e-books and movies – made from any seller with a presence in New York state. The new tax would also apply to subscription services that charge a monthly fee for content.
“Internet companies already pay their fair share of business tax,” says Mr. Coffman, an entrepreneur with a degree in economics whose company employs over 250 people in Charlotte.
“Don’t think for a minute that this is simply a tax on business,” he adds. “It’s naïve to think that the burden of these proposed taxes would be quickly passed on to the consumer. Then there’s the fact that it would be immensely difficult to police given that Internet services can emanate from anywhere.’
“Instead, we need to encourage more Internet purchases of goods, services, information and entertainment. This will put more people to work, many of them in well-paying jobs with a future,” Coffman said.
” I applaud Scott on this one, seriously so. The ideology that you can tax your way to prosperity is a seriously misguided one. The road to prosperity is paved with opportunity and fewer roadblocks making it difficult for people who want to take a chance to succeed to do so. Don’t put a toll booth where a freeway is needed.