Coming out of Cyber Monday, internet holiday shopping is setting records. With online sales at a record pace, Papillion State Senator Jim Smith says slapping a state sales tax on cyber buying remains an important issue.
Smith says, “Remote sellers tax, as we call it, is a real big hot issue in our state. Internet sales continue to erode local retail sales and it has the potential for affecting state tax revenues. There is about $20 million we collect voluntarily because of our participation in something called the Streamline Coalition of States but I would say, my best guess is maybe about another $60 million out there that is not collected. That is going to grow over time but that is our best guess right now.”
There is currently a bill in front of lawmakers, LB44, is intended to trigger a court challenge similar to what happened in South Dakota. Senator Smith says Nebraska’s Attorney General has joined 35 other states in filing a Friend of the Court brief that supports the appeal of South Dakota’s law. That will press the issue to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court. They previously ruled that stated there has to be a physical presence of a business in the state for them to recover a sales tax.