Internet sales tax bill filed | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Internet sales tax bill filed

Posted By on Thu, Mar 3, 2011 at 12:20 PM

At last, the bill to level the playing field between Arkansas-based retailers and on-line merchants has been introduced.

It's called Main Street Fairness legislation. You could also call it a tax increase on many on-line shoppers. But it is nothing but the right thing to do. As the group behind Sen. Jake Files' SB 738 explains:

Legislation introduced in the Arkansas Senate will work to close a massive loophole in current tax law that allows large out of state online-only retailers to avoid collecting sales taxes. This puts Arkansas small businesses—those that collect sales taxes—at a competitive disadvantage.

The current loophole allows two companies selling similar products to have different sales tax collection responsibilities. It requires Arkansas brick-and-mortar businesses to collect and remit sales taxes while out of state online-only retailers are not required to collect sales taxes nor are they required to notify consumers that they must still pay sales taxes (known as use tax) when they file their income taxes each year.

The group will say this bill only guarantees collection of tax already owed. But, really. If you buy a book on-line from Amazon you are not going to report the use tax due and the state isn't going to attempt to collect it. With this legislation, the taxes can be collected. It's only fair to in-state businesses. The state can also use the money. I suspect the move to Internet commerce has been a significant factor in erosion of the state sales tax base. But it creates interesting politics.

Many of the businesses behind this bill (Walmart will be among them, if not part of the so-called Main Street coalition) are the types of enterprises that often enjoy wide Republican support — and vice versa. But tax increases are poison to this group of legislators. As artful as the spin is — and as meritorious as the argument is — you can't get around the fact that the bill will allow collection of some tax money from people not now paying it.

Here's website for a national group with shared aims. Backers here include the Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association.

Tags: , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (22)

Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-22 of 22

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Jerry Dhonau, former Gazette editorial page editor, dies at 83

    Jerry Dhonau, a retired newspaperman whose career included reporting on the Little Rock school crisis and being editorial page editor of the Arkansas Gazette when it closed in 1991, has died. Ernest Dumas provides his colleague’s obituary.
    • Aug 18, 2018
  • DHS confirms it's withholding personnel records on Leslie Rutledge

    Chris Burks, the lawyer in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking personnel records of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge when she was a staff lawyer at the Department of Human Services, says DHS confirms the existence of records that have not been released in previous examinations of her record there.
    • Aug 18, 2018
  • Death reported in Malvern prison

    The Correction Department is reporting what it calls an apparent suicide Thursday evening in the Ouachita River Correction unit in Malvern.
    • Aug 18, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: An open line

    • 1958 we had a group of student from Turkey and they were hostile to Any…

    • on August 18, 2018
  • Re: An open line

    • My roommate and fellow history student told me about the Turks he fought with in…

    • on August 18, 2018
  • Re: An open line

    • There weren't a whole of lot of Turkish fighters in the Korean War, but there…

    • on August 18, 2018

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation