The U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of states’ ability to collect internet sales taxes.
In a statement Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood calls the ruling a major victory.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for our Main Street merchants in Mississippi. It puts them on a level playing field with large, out-of-state and international corporations. We attorneys general have been extremely successful in convincing the United States Supreme Court that the United States Constitution protects the states from federal legislative and judicial overreach. I don’t think I have lost on any of these cases where huge international corporations try to use our Congress or federal courts to preempt state laws designed to protect our consumers and state laws.”
Hood’s office places the number at $50 million in the first year of collection for the state. More importantly, he says the ruling represents a major shift away from big name retailers and gives main street merchants a more level playing field.
“We live in a digital age, and our laws must reflect that. Online shopping may be convenient, but it’s had a negative impact on our Main Street merchants who have always been required to charge a sales tax. When our local businesses suffer, so do we. Now, there’s no difference in someone walking into a store to buy shoes and sitting on their coach and doing the same thing from their phone. Today’s ruling makes it a fairer market and creates an opportunity for our cash-strapped state to bring in a new revenue stream to fix our deteriorating roads and bridges and fund our children’s education.”
The 5-4 ruling reverses two decades of decisions impacting online collections. States made the argument they were losing billions of dollars annually under the current rules.