The high court on Thursday overturned a 1992 ruling that a retailer must have a physical presence in a state to collect tax from buyers in that state. Supreme Court decision expanding the ability of states to pull in tax dollars from online purchases could have a significant impact in Florida. Local governments may also see a windfall as a result of the ruling, since the government estimates that between $9 billion and $13 billion in potential tax revenue is left on the table, thanks to earlier Supreme Court decisions on the taxation of online purchases.
Sales tax is pretty interesting in the United States as it's done on a state-by-state basis.
That's even though Floridians already are technically supposed to pay sales tax on online purchases. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the court's three most conservative justices.
Whatever lawmakers do, don't assume that the imposition of online sales taxes will sink e-commerce.
Sales tax collection previously followed that is commonly known as the physical presence rule.
South Dakota's suit stemmed from a law requiring sales taxes for any out-of-state seller that delivers more than $100,000 worth of goods.
Dominic Calabro, president of Florida TaxWatch, a business-oriented advocacy group, cited Florida's heavy reliance on the statewide 6 percent sales tax as a major source of operating revenue for state services.
Smaller sellers who use eBay and Etsy also haven't been collecting sales tax nationwide. "(They) pay property taxes, lease or own retail space, support their communities through charitable contributions and help their communities recover after natural disasters".
"Rejecting the physical presence rule is necessary to ensure that artificial competitive advantages are not created by this court's precedents", Kennedy said.
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"It is a big day, especially for Main Street retailers, community retailers", Nustad said. "And for the state's share, I hope we can follow with another cut to our income tax". That software, too, can be an added cost.
"We're reviewing the decision", was all agency rep James Gazzale said in an emailed statement.
But even with the court's decision, not all remote sales are likely to be taxed.
Chief Justice John Roberts dissented, along with Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, saying USA lawmakers should take up the issue.
Chief Justice John Roberts was in the minority.
The case the court ruled on involved a 2016 law passed by South Dakota, which said it was losing out on an estimated $50 million a year in sales tax not collected by out-of-state sellers.
This has been a point of contention between states and online retailers for a long time. North Dakota, which prevented states from collecting these taxes.
State officials - including in SC, with its 6 percent sales tax - have argued they were losing out on millions - if not, in some cases, billions - of dollars in revenue a year under the Supreme Court's previous 1992 decision.
The Trump administration backed South Dakota in the case, arguing that no one could have foreseen how rapidly e-commerce would expand. She says the court decision will "level the playing field for IL brick-and-mortar retailers".