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.
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.