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New bill proposes Online Sales Tax

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 15 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 15 2013 09:34:25 PM CST

It's possibly an $11-billion loop hole.

It's possibly an $11-billion loop hole. One that's keeping money away from improving schools, fixing roads and fighting crime. And it starts with you. Every time you log on and make a purchase online tax laws are being ignored. But soon you may see an extra charge on your e-shopping bill.

"This legislation is not a tax," explained Congressman Charlie Dent. "It's simply an enforcement measure and this issue is a matter of fairness."

Bills were introduced this week that would resolve states' decades long struggle to tax businesses beyond their borders. The problem is shoppers finding products in local stores are able to locate the same merchandise on the web, but with no sales tax. Right now states can only tax Internet sales made by companies with a physical presence within state borders.

"The online guy benefits at the expense of the brick and mortar person who is out there actually selling that same product," added Dent.

The legislation wants to level the playing field. Internet sales make up more than 5% of all US retail sales.

"We want to have one consistent, uniform way of collecting it and administering the sales tax."

Large Internet retailers are worried the tax could drive up the cost of doing business. But the bills have strong bipartisan support meaning it could become law this year.

You can learn more about the Marketplace Fairness Act here.