Walmart, Best Buy Push Sales Tax for Amazon

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By Bill Damsky

The movement to force Amazon and other online retailers to pay sales taxes (and level the playing field with brick and mortar retailers) is snowballing.

Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Sears and Home Depot are now backing a group called the Alliance for Main Street Fairness, which is spearheading a campaign to change the sales tax laws in more than a dozen states, said The Wall Street Journal.

Walmart, Best Buy push for sales taxes for AmazonUntil recently, the group based in Virginia was populated by mom and pop type shops.

As we reported Monday, states that are cash strapped, are also trying to get Amazon and other large online retailers to pay sales taxes in some cases.

Because of a 1992 Supreme Court ruling, states can’t force retailers to collect sales taxes unless they have a physical presence in the state.

“The rules today don’t allow brick-and-mortar retailers to compete evenly with online retailers, and that needs to be addressed,” said Walmart’s Raul Vazquez, reported The WSJ.

The Alliance for Main Street Fairness was formed last spring. And it looks like any retailer can get involved. You can check out the site at http://www.standwithmainstreet.com

The site says, “We are working to close the anti-small business online sales tax loophole. Online-only retailers are exploiting a massive tax loophole that puts small brick-and-mortar businesses at a significant disadvantage….”

The movement to push for sales taxes through online retailers is gaining, partly because politicians are trying to fill the state coffers left dry from recession and partly because online retailers are growing fatter.

Over Black Friday weekend late last year, online sales accounted for a third of the shopping.

If you visit Alliance for Main Street, you will see that it helps smaller online retailers too. This is because some states are now passing laws requiring Amazon and online retailers to collect sales taxes on sales generated by affiliated sites that are located in that state. (Affiliated smaller sites get money from driving traffic to Amazon).

To fight back when a state passes such a law, Amazon immediately drops all its affiliates in that state, as recently happened in Illinois. The Alliance is seeking to help those affiliates.

Source: The Wall Street Journal via Yahoo Finance

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6 Comments

  1. This is long overdue. Small retail business has been fighting the low overhead, no service interenet companies too long while Congress has turned their heads. The states need the revenue either from us or them.

  2. I agree with Mac about the greed it doesn’t matter if they’ll pass this law still they gonna sell way cheaper than brick and mortar by 30-40% for two facts #1 and the main fact the manufacturers greed and their sales goals. #2 they have less overhead and hassle to worry about and a lot of box moving

  3. I am a consumer like everybody else trying to get whatever I want for the least amount of money it is the manufacturers that are make all this stuff everybody want’s they have the control on where and who gets and what they pay for this stuff this type of problem has been around a long time it’s called GREED

  4. Folks. Plain and simple. EVERY brick and mortar retailer needs to be on board with this! First because of the unfair competitive edge it gives out of state online retailers. Second because we are making up for the lost sales tax revenue to our states in higher taxes or extreme cut backs. This is one time when independent retailers need to stand WITH Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, et al.

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