.The rise of internet dealing has over the past decade and a half given the trade in antiquities a totally new dynamic and form. Over on Tim Haines' closed-access Yahoo "AncientArtifacts" discussion list members are being urged to sign a petition to reject a US law, called the Main Street Fairness Act, which would mean that online traders will be penalised for not paying sales taxes like bricks and mortar small businesses and thus by avoiding these surcharges undercutting their prices:
On July 1, a bill was introduced in the United States House of Representatives that would impose complex sales tax collecting requirements on internet retailers and entrepreneurs, including our eBay sellers. If passed, HR 5660, the so-called, "Main Street Fairness Act," would require small online retailers to comply with varying and regularly changing sales tax rules and rates for thousands of tax jurisdictions, and to collect and remit sales taxes from each customer. This new sales tax scheme would be extremely burdensome and costly to small online retailers like you who have set up shop on the internet. A similar bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate as well. [...] Please join our effort to stop the passage of this anti-small business bill. In three minutes or less, you can sign this petition urging your lawmakers to protect small, online retailers [...] Together we can make a difference!So the no-questions-asked dealers in dugup antiquities already want to avoid being subject to laws concerning legal imports, now they want to avoid paying the same taxes as other sellers just because they do it over the Internet.
Note the use of emotive phrases like: "complex sales tax collecting requirements", "varying and regularly changing sales tax rules and rates for thousands of tax jurisdictions", "extremely burdensome and costly to small online retailers", like they are no doubt to high street stores already which do comply, which is presumably why they want laws to prevent the internet cowboys undercutting them. If law abiding shop keepers are paying the taxes, why should other traders ignore these laws? That is simply unfair competition.