Should Congress allow states and local jurisdictions to collect sales taxes from remote sellers?
The writers for this week’s Point/Counterpoint answered the question for McClatchy-Tribune. We are unable to republish their entire comments online. An excerpt follows.
A level playing field could give states a boost of $23 billion.
Matthew Shay. is president and CEO of the National Retail Federation.
Retailers compete with each other every day on price, service, convenience and selection. Good retailers try to match or exceed their competitors in every area. But, under the current system, the law gives remote sellers a singular advantage brick-and-mortar stores can’t match because they aren’t required to collect sales tax.
States already can tax online purchases
Michael Greve, is the John G. Searle Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University.
There is no “sale tax exemption” for out-of-state vendors. State and local sales taxes are owed by consumers, not producers. If the good or service is provided by an in-state firm, that firm must collect the applicable sales tax form the consumer. If the stuff comes for a remote seller that has no contact with the consumer’s state, the sale is not tax -free: The consumer owes a use tax equivalent to the local sales tax.