• <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 1. Albertus Magnus, De Natura Locorum, 2nd edn, 1515. £3000 to £4000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 22. George Cooke, Scenery of the East India Islands, 1811-13. £4500 to £5500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 23. J.M. Crozet, Nouveau vouage a la Mer du Sud, 1st edn, 1783. £4000 to £6000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 27. J.P.J.Du Bois, Vies des Gouverneurs Generaux, 1st edn, 1763. £1200 to £1800.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 28. Wm Ellis, Authentic Narrative...Captain Cook, 1st edn, 1782. £2500 to £3500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 31. Thomas Forrest, Voyage to New Guinea, 1st edn, 1779. £1500 to £2000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 32. Forster & Forster, Voyage round the World, 1st edn, 1777-78. £4500 to £5500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 38. Gianetti, Elogy of Captain James Cook, 1st edn, 1785. £2500 to £3500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 46. Otto von Kotzebue, Entdeckungs Reise, 1st edn, 1821. £3500 to £4500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 52. Alejandro Malaspina, Viaje politico-scientifico, 1st edn, 1885. £2000 to £3000.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 60. Sydney Parkinson, Journal of Voyage to the South Seas, large paper, 1773. £4500 to £5500.
    <b>Mayfair Book Auctions, July 16:</b><br>Lot 64. Nathaniel Portlock, A Voyage round the World, 1st edn, 1789. £4000 to £6000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript<br>Online Auction 8-15 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Elizabeth I. Early letter signed, to Edward North, First Baron North 1560. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Catherine II. Empress of Russia Letter signed to Prince Grigori Aleksandrovich [Potemkin] 1784. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Nelson. Autograph letter signed, to Captains of Egyptian Club, 3 August 1798. £12,000 to £18,000,
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript<br>Online Auction 8-15 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Charles Darwin. Photograph signed, c.1871 by Oscar Gustave Rejlander. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> T.E. Lawrence. Autograph letter signed, to Major Littleton, 14 October 1918. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Napoleon. Letter signed, ordering General Desaix to sail to Malta, prior to the Egyptian Expedition, 1798. £2,000 to £3,000.
  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> O'Fihely, Maurice Abp. <i>Questiones subtilissme Scoti in metaphysicam Aristotelis</i>, Venice (Octavianus Scoti) 20th November 1497. 8,000 to 12,000 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Pococke (Richard). <i>A Description of the East and some other Countries,</i> 3 vols. in 2, L. (W. Bowyer) 1743. 2,250 to 3,500 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Keogh (John). <i>Botanalogia Universalis Hibernica, or A General Irish Herbal Calculated for this Kingdom, giving an account of the Herbs, Scrubs…</i>, Corke (George Harrison) 1735. 1,000 to 1,500 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Perry (Charles). <i>A View of the Levant particularly of Constantinople, Syria, Egypt and Greece,</i> L. (T. Woodward) 1743. 800 to 1,200 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Shaw (Thomas). <i>Travels, or Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant,</i>, Oxford (The Theatre) 1738. 600 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> [French (Nicholas) Bishop of Ferns] Attributed, <i>Recit Exact et Fidele de la Vente et Partage du Roiaume d'Irlande Fait Sous Charles II…,</i> Milan (Chez Charles Joseph Quinto) 1724. 500 to 700 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> [French (V. Rev.Dr. Nicholas, Bp of Ferns.)] <i>The Unkinde Desertor of Loyall Men and True Frinds,</i> 12mo, n.p. 1676. 500 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Yeats (W.B.) <i>Plays and Controversies,</i>, N.Y. (The MacMillan Company) 1924, Signed Limited Edn. 500 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Barrie (J.M.) & Thomson (Hugh) illus. <i>Quality Street, a Comedy in Four Acts,</i> L. (Hodder and Stoughton) 1901, Limited Edition, signed by the artist. 500 to 700 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Molyneaux (William). <i>The Case of Ireland's being bound by Acts of Parliament in England Stated,</i> [London 1719]. 200 to 300 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Johnston's (W. & A.) Map of South Africa, to illustrate the Military Operations 1900. 100 to 150 €
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Ptolomaeus (Claudius). <i>Cosmographia,</i> first edition, Vicenza, Hermann Liechtenstein, 13 September 1475. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Schoener (Johann). <i>Opera mathematica,</i> 3 parts in 1, first edition,The Honeyman copy in contemporary binding, Nuremberg, J. Montanus and U. Neuber, 1551. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Lucian of Samosata. <i>Dialogoi, editio princeps,</i> with fine illuminated title-page, Florence, Lorenzo de Alopa, 1496. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Pian (Jean Baptiste de). [Architectural Alphabet], 26 chromolithographs by Leopold Muller after Pian, Vienna, 1842-44. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Rogers (Bruce).- Holy Bible (The)..., one of 200 copies on handmade paper, designed by Bruce Rogers, bound in modern crimson morocco, gilt, Oxford, 1935. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Jenner (Edward). <i>An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae…,</i> first edition, Printed for the Author, by Sampson Low, 1798. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Voyages.- Cook (Capt. James).- Parkinson (Sydney). <i>A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty's Ship the Endeavour,</i> second edition, Charles Dilly...& James Phillips, 1784. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> [Clemens (Samuel Langhorne)] "Mark Twain". <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,</i> first edition, first state, New York, Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> [Voight (Hans Henning)], "Alastair". Herod, for 'Salome: Drame en un Acte', original drawing in red & black ink over pencil, [c.1922]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> James (M.R.) <i>Ghost Stories of an Antiquary,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to A.C. Benson, 1904. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Remarque (Erich Maria). <i>All Quiet on the Western Front,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1929. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Ashendene Press.- More (Sir Thomas). <i>A Fruteful and Pleasaunt Worke...Utopia,</i> one of 100 copies, bound in black goatskin by J.Franklin Mowery, Ashendene Press, 1906. £3,000 to £4,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - February - 2018 Issue

U.S. Supreme Court Will Again Consider Allowing States to Require Out-of-State Retailers to Collect Their Sales Taxes

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The happy Wayfair customers may not be so happy anymore if they have to pay sales tax (image from Wayfair Ad.).

The ability of states to require out-of-state retailers, which would include most rare and antiquarian booksellers, to collect their sales taxes will again come before the United States Supreme Court. Twice before, the Supreme Court has shot down such attempts by the states, but while the Court rarely reverses its past decisions, don't count on the mail order and internet retailers prevailing again. There are reasons to believe the third time may be a charm for the state taxing authorities and their allies, the retailers who sell from local stores.

 

Fifty years ago, the Supreme Court, in a case known as Nat'l Bellas Hess, determined that states were not legally able to require out-of-state sellers to collect their sales tax on items they sold and shipped to customers in their state. There were obvious issues of the extreme difficulty in retailers trying to keep track of all the state and local entities on whose behalf they would have to collect the right amount of tax and make payments thereto. However, inconvenience is not a constitutional issue. Overriding this issue is the Commerce Clause of the U. S. Constitution. It gives exclusive authority to regulate interstate commerce to the federal government. Therefore, if the out-of-state company had some sort of physical presence, or "nexus" within the state, such as a store, warehouse, or sales office, they became an instate retailer who could be compelled to collect sales taxes, even if the goods were shipped from afar. That was sufficient to make that retailer one of the state's own. However, without such "nexus," the retailer could not be required to collect sales taxes. That is why you will often see a mail order or internet seller say to add sales tax only if you live in one or more specific states. Those state(s) have nexus.

 

Twenty-five years later, the Supreme Court revisited the situation in a case known as Quill. The Court reaffirmed the Bellas Hess ruling, though in a reluctant manner. It took note of the increasing significance of mail order sales and lost sales tax revenue, but the Court is loathe to overturn in its own precedents. However, it more or less invited Congress to enact legislation to enable states to require out-of-state retailers to collect their sales tax. Since they had ruled that interstate commerce was in the sole purview of the federal government, it implied the federal government could enact legislation authorizing the states to demand their sales taxes be collected on goods sold in interstate commerce.

 

That was 1992. A lot has happened since then. The internet was invented. Untaxed sales have skyrocketed since the days when only traditional catalogue mail order was an issue. Amazon came and grew to become the nation's largest retailer. However, Amazon began opening warehouses, then stores, acquiring nexus in many states, and finally bent to pressure and began collecting taxes for sales in all states. Amazon itself is no longer an issue, but many other large internet sellers, and almost all small ones, do not collect sales taxes. That includes smaller, independent retailers who sell through Amazon, about half of the sales on Amazon's website.

 

Meanwhile, some U. S. legislators attempted to take up the Supreme Court's suggestion by proposing bills to provide the necessary federal authorization for states to collect sales taxes. Twenty-five years later, none of them have gone anywhere. The states' governors and legislatures have promoted these bills, but those states' federal senators and representatives have declined to pass them. No one wants to go on record as raising their constituents' taxes. None of these bills ever made it to a vote.

 

Now, something else has happened to make it more likely the Supreme Court will reverse itself. Justice Kennedy, a "no" vote in 1992, who reluctantly voted to uphold precedent, has all but proclaimed he will vote the other way this time around. The latest justice, Neil Gorsuch, has also advocated a reversal of the precedent. And now, the Supreme Court has agreed to decide the issue once again, in a case labeled South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. Wayfair may have just what the states need.

 

South Dakota initiated a challenge to Quill by passing a law that ran in its face, demanding out-of-state retailers collect their sales taxes. When Wayfair, Overstock, and New Egg refused, the state sued them. The case went to the South Dakota Supreme Court which ruled for the online retailers, as expected. The South Dakota court was sympathetic to the state, but ruled that it had no choice but to uphold the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the U. S. Supreme Court in its earlier decision. That set up what South Dakota wanted, a chance to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court and try to convince it to reverse that earlier decision. The U.S. Supreme Court declines to even listen to most appeals. It is already a warning sign to those who wish internet sales to remain mostly sales tax-free that the court has agreed to hear the case anew.

 

South Dakota argues that the ability of online retailers to avoid collecting sales taxes has a devastating effect on state revenues, harms local retailers that are at a competitive disadvantage because they do have to collect them, and questions whether the whole Bellas Hess/Quill precedent is good law in the first place. The lost tax revenue, the state argues, forces states to raise sales taxes even higher to make up for it, making local retailers even less competitive. Perhaps, but it should be noted that five states, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon, collect no sales taxes at all, and yet somehow manage to survive. There are other taxes available and widely used, such as income, property, utility, business, and various fees. The federal government, with its enormous budget, does not impose a sales tax.

 

The amount of money lost is not insignificant. South Dakota referenced a study that estimates the states will lose $33.9 billion in revenue due to uncollected sales taxes in 2018, $211 billion from 2018-2022. Of course, we all know who will have to pay that lost revenue, which is to say this is effectively a large tax increase.

 

South Dakota has been joined by 34 other states in asking the Supreme Court to overturn its old decision. That's 35 out of 50 states, and yet the federal legislators from those same states, who could reverse the effect of that decision by simply passing a bill, adamantly refuse to do so. That is a contradiction. What is the will of the people?

 

We should note one other danger in the court overturning this long-running precedent, rather than allowing the states, through their elected representatives in Washington, to make this decision. The unpassed bills in Washington, and the South Dakota legislation, all provide an exemption for smaller retailers. Some also provide for a unified collection system. The assumption is that large retailers will have access to computer software programs that make the assessment and collection of all of these taxes easy, something impossible in the old mail order days. South Dakota exempts retailers with either less than $100,000 in sales or fewer than 200 transactions in the state per year from collecting their taxes. However, if the U.S. Supreme Court drops the constitutional bar to states requiring out-of-staters from having to collect these taxes, there will be no limits on what a state can impose. It will be each state's constitutional right to place whatever demands it wants on out-of-state sellers.

 

The Wayfair case is expected to be heard by the court in April, with a decision to come down in June.


Posted On: 2018-02-01 18:23
User Name: davereis

So, assuming a reversal, would the state where the item originates also tax the seller? If so, the sale would be taxed by two states. Is this constitutional?
If no to the above (IE- the sale only would be taxed in the buyer's state), the state where the buyer resides would make more money in those cross-state sales, but would lose money in cases where a seller in same state would selll to a buyer in another state.
Seems legally dubious in the first case, and a waste of time (and possibly an overall loss for some states) in the latter. And a headache for all!


Posted On: 2018-02-01 22:48
User Name: AE244155

Only the state to which the item is shipped would apply sales tax. Just as now, if a dealer ships an item to an out-of-state location, his home state will not collect sales tax. The difference is the buyer's home state will now collect sales tax, or more exactly, the seller will have to collect sales tax on behalf of that other state, and send it to that state. Hopefully, there will be software available that will compute all this for the seller, and if the states are helpful, provide one central location to which dealers can make payment. However, if the Supreme Court reverses itself, there is no guarantee that the states will make the collecting and remitting process easier on dealers.


Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>N.C. Wyeth, <i>The Black Arrow,</i> oil on canvas, for the book by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1916. $150,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Laurent de Brunhoff, mixed media color study for <i>Babar’s World Tour,</i> 2005. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Hilary Knight, <i>Eloise with Valentine,</i> watercolor, ink & pencil, 2015. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Howard Pyle, <i>It was a Comrade from His Own Regiment,</i> oil on canvas, for <i>Harper’s Monthly Magazine,</i> 1909. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Coby Whitmore, <i>‘Poor baby! You want me so much,’ she said,</i> acrylic, for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1968. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Al Hirschfeld, <i>Charley’s Aunt,</i> pen & ink, for the Broadway revival, <i>The New York Times,</i> 1940. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Erté, <i>Décor de Laideronnette,</i> gouache set design for third movement of <i>Mother Goose,</i> 1949. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Vince McIndoe, <i>Villainous Last Supper, DC Comics,</i> oil on canvas, 2016. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Arthur Getz, <i>Rooftop Party,</i> casein tempera, cover illustration for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1970. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Music, Continental Books and Medieval Manuscripts<br>Online Auction 7-14 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Isaac Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.</i> £280,000 to £350,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Johann Sebastian Bach. Two early editions: Fantaisie pour le Clavecin. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Mozart. Early edition, in parts, of the Concerto in A for piano and orchestra. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Music, Continental Books and Medieval Manuscripts<br>Online Auction 7-14 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Beethoven. First edition, second issue of the Ninth Symphony op.125. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Cervantes. <i>Don Quixote,</i> Barcelona, 1617. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Johann Sebastian Bach. Three first and early editions of music for organ. £1,200 to £1,500.

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