Sales Tax for On Line Purchases


I received this letter from ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers). They are advocating that on line sales should pay sales tax. Their issue is fairness to conventional brick and mortar retail sellers.

I think it is only fair to require sales tax to be paid for on line purchases to level the playing field between local retail sales and internet sales.  What do you think?

The vote as of Dec 20, 2010  11:30 am

Should there be some sort of rule mandating state taxes on goods bought online?
Total Votes: 4410

Please leave your comments, or send me and email and I will post.


Dear ICSC Member,

ICSC continues its decade-long effort to level the playing field for online sellers and brick-and-mortar retailers. On Friday, CNBC posted an online poll asking if state taxes should apply to online purchase. Under the current system, only retailers with a physical presence in a state are required collect sales taxes. Faceless remote sellers, without a physical presence in local communities or the desire to reinvest in them, are crippling traditional main street retailers and threatening local jobs by taking advantage of this tax loophole.

This year ICSC worked with Congressman William Delahunt (MA-10) on the Main Street Fairness Act, which was introduced on July 1. This bill empowers states that have streamlined their sales and use tax codes to require remote sellers to remit sales taxes, just as their brick-and-mortar counterparts do. ICSC President and CEO Michael Kercheval participated in a press conference with the Congressman to show support for this bill. Unfortunately, Congressman Delahunt retires at the end of this session and supporters will need to find another champion in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, ICSC continues to work with our long-time advocate, Senator Michael Enzi (WY-R) to ensure a bill is introduced in the 112th Congress.

ICSC has also reinvigorated efforts to encourage more states to adopt the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement. Currently, 24 states have joined the Agreement, with the most recent state being Georgia. With so many new governors, state legislators and Members of Congress elected into office -- and with state deficits growing larger -- it is critical that ICSC continues to educate elected officials on the importance of this issue through policy briefings and outreach by ICSC members. We will continue to keep you informed about opportunities to engage in this critical issue.

Thank you,

Betsy Laird
Senior Vice President
Office of Global Public Policy