In recent years, retailers have been successful in getting a handful of states, including Illinois and New York, to pass laws requiring Amazon.com and similar e-tailers to collect sales tax on products shipped to those states. Now, with the backing of super-sized chains, there is a full-on push to get these laws on the books in every state that collects sales tax.
“The rules today don’t allow brick-and-mortar retailers to compete evenly with online retailers, and that needs to be addressed,” said Walmart’s executive vice president of global e-commerce to the Wall Street Journal.
Big W is joined by other huge names like Target, Best Buy, Home Depot and Sears, in its backing of the Alliance for Main Street Fairness, a Virginia-based organization founded last year to stump for these sorts of laws.
A 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling declared that only merchants with a physical presence in a state are required to collect sales taxes. But some states have passed laws declaring that Amazon’s affiliate and marketplace programs, which include online storefronts for some bricks and mortar merchants, means the internet super store is required to collect sales tax.
The push to collect sales tax from online stores has gotten a lot of traction among state legislatures in recent years as they look to find new sources of revenue to fill holes in their budgets.
“We’re seeing an increased urgency from states trying to make up for lost revenue,” said Best Buy’s senior director of government relations.
And now, according to the Wall Street Journal, Senators Dick Durbin (Illinois) and Mike Enzi (Wyoming), are looking to propose new legislation requiring all online retailers to collect sales tax.