Gov. Pete Ricketts indicates he doesn’t believe legislation would be necessary for Nebraska to begin asking online retailers to collect the state sales tax.
Ricketts says his administration is reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court decision which upheld a South Dakota law requiring Internet retailers to collect its sales tax.
“My attitude is that if they remove the physical nexus component of that that we could just go out and start requesting Internet retailers to remit that sales tax,” Ricketts tells reporters. “As I said, we’re analyzing the decision right now and, stay tuned, we will be coming back with you in the next few days to let you know what we think that allows us to be able to do.”
The Supreme Court upheld in South Dakota v. Wayfair, the South Dakota state law requiring online retailers to collect the state sales tax on Internet sales. The South Dakota law outlined which Internet-based companies had to collect the tax, exempting smaller companies or individuals who sell through the Internet.
The 5-4 ruling overturned a 1992 court decision in a North Dakota case which allowed states to require sales tax collection on Internet sales only from businesses which had a physical presence in the state.
Ricketts says his administration is reviewing the U.S. Supreme Court decision and says he is unlikely to call the Unicameral back into special session to consider legislation on the issue.
“At this point, I don’t believe there’s a need for a special session,” Ricketts says. “We’re still analyzing the bill and we’ll come back and let you know what we think we need to do from here.”
Ricketts, though, reminds Nebraska state law requires the buyer to pay the tax.
“But, we’re all responsible for that Internet sales tax whether or not the retailer collects it and remits it. If they don’t, then we’re actually responsible for it. So, we’re already responsible today,” Ricketts says.
Ricketts says he and State Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton faithfully pay the state sales tax on any online purchases they make, though he jokes they are probably two of only seven people in the state who do.