Bill would add sales tax to online orders - KMSP-TV

Bill would add sales tax to online orders

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Online shoppers could soon be paying more for their orders. A bill making its way through the Senate would require online retailers to collect state and local sales taxes.  

For Showcase Photo & Video owner Bob Khoury, the 8 percent added to the price every time an item is rung up can mean the difference between profit for him or for an internet store website.
 
"A customer comes in, talks to us about a product, learns about that product, touches it, feels it, finds out what they want and then they will check out prices on the internet -- of which we are competitive -- but then they realize they can save 8 percent," Khoury said.

Khoury said the legislation being considered could make a difference.

"It will level the playing field for brick and mortar. And we will be able to compete on an equal basis," Khoury said.

Under current law, internet stores aren't required to collect a sales tax unless they have a physical presence in the state. So right now, many online sales are tax-free.

Most online shoppers that FOX 5 talked to said they don't welcome the increase in costs.

Supporters say it's about fairness for businesses. They believe an internet sales tax will help the local economy.

"The benefit is, it goes straight to your home versus dealing with traffic and parking. However, I feel that they should pay a tax," said Jean Chatelain.

Opponents say the bill puts unnecessary strain on small online businesses trying to comply with sales tax laws in thousands of places.

Given the level of support, the internet sales tax bill could pass this week.

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