Some people say, “It’s never too late” when talking about life change events. But the choices we, and others, make can limit our options.
I waited too many years to leave a relationship which was irreparable. My choice. A choice I delayed making based on not wanting to disappoint others. I was fortunate since that decision led me to eventually having relationship I was always meant to.
Then, a few years ago I started my journey into trying to earn a living as an artist. Although I had been drawing since I was eleven I was almost fifty before I made that career change. Again, I chose to seek a more stable career path one which was stable for 20 years but due to a company merger came to an end.
I worked diligently for several years creating 30+ pieces of artwork a year and expanded my use of photography from sources for paintings to selling photographs as well. The first photograph I sold was through my, at that time, newly opened Etsy store.
I sold several pieces through local venues as well as the online market but it has not been enough to earn a living. But I had planned to keep my store open to sell existing work before creating new pieces.
That plan changed last Friday with the Supreme Court decision in South Dakota vs Wayfair. Up until then I only had to calculate and charge sales tax on sales within my state of residence since I only had a physical presence there. Now online stores like mine will have to track sales taxes in any state where a purchaser resides.
To give you an idea of that impact here’s what just my home state’s sales tax structure is like. The is currently 4.75%. However, in North Carolina, each county can add sales taxes on top of the state rate. In other words the sales tax charge changes based on the county of residence of the buyer – in North Carolina we have 100 counties. Now think about trying to keep track of that over 50 states.
So the choices made by voters in 2016 and the resulting change in the structure of our Supreme Court is making a long-term impact. This is an example of when too late really is too late. 2018 and 2020 elections won’t fix the damage done to our judiciary.
If you like shopping online with small entrepreneurs – people who sell their artwork or photos or crafts, or resell vintage clothing or goods, whether through Etsy, eBay or even individual websites – start your shopping now. There may be many more “shops” like mine closing in the near future.
In the meantime, if you want to be more informed about this decision here are some resources: