Local merchants and shoppers react to passage of Senate bill to - Tucson News Now

Local merchants and shoppers react to passage of Senate bill to tax online sales

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A loophole could be closing for online shoppers who avoid sales tax with a bill that passed the Senate Monday.

The traditional merchant with a store, with merchandise, and who charges sales tax, has faced tough competition from online retailers.  Internet sales that don't have a real store in the state where someone makes a purchase don't pay sales tax in that state.

Sites like Amazon and eBay only have distribution centers in a few states, so sales across the country have been sales-tax-free.  But states have lost as much as $23 Billion in sales tax in one year.  This bill would require businesses that make more than one million dollars in online sales to pay sales tax to the state where the sale occurs.  Local merchants might see a slightly more level playing field.

"It's important for communities to get the tax revenue.  We're really struggling, Tucson is struggling, everybody's struggling and I think that's important, too," said Kate Randall, co-owner of Antigone Books.

"I don't know, that's hard because, especially as a college student, you know, I'm paying a lot and I just honestly don't feel the government needs anymore than they're getting," said U of A junior Taylor Seipp.

Some tax opponents share that sentiment, and this bill could face more of it when it hits the House of Representatives.

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