Supreme Court says States can tax online purchases

USA Today  reports…

A closely divided Supreme Court upended the  nation’s Internet marketplace Thursday, ruling that states can collect sales taxes from online retailers.

The decision, which overturns an Supreme Court precedent, will boost state revenues at the expense of consumers and sellers who have avoided sales taxes in the past. But the justices did not specify what types of exceptions states may impose to limit the burden on small businesses.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the 5-4 decision, jettisoning the court’s longstanding rule that states cannot require companies without a physical presence to collect sales taxes. He was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.

Reactions were mixed…

Reaction to the high court’s ruling was mixed. State government groups hailed it as a boon for their revenue base, as well as a playing-field equalizer. But some lawmakers in Congress vowed revenge.

“The Supreme Court has given the green light for states to establish an underground, nationwide, privatized tax-collecting bureaucracy,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat whose state of Oregon has no sales tax.

Although it seems small businesses may feel it most…

“The burden will fall disproportionately on small businesses,” Roberts said. “The court’s decision today will surely have the effect of dampening opportunities for commerce in a broad range of new markets.”

This entry was posted in economic development, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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