HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- Republicans in Congress have been joining with Democrats in supporting a bill that would give the states authority to force Amazon, eBay and other companies to collect sales taxes.
The parking lot at Westfarms is packed even though Thanksgiving isn't until next week. The holiday shopping season has already begun.
As it has for the past several years, online shopping is expected to be a bigger chunk of the holiday shopping pie than last year and unfortunately for Connecticut and other states, a lot of those purchases go un-taxed.
Connecticut's so-called 'Amazon Tax' has been on the books for over a year but Amazon and other online retailers effectively thumbed their nose at it by pulling out from any affiliations within the state and said they favored a national solution because collecting different sales tax rates from different states would be too difficult to administer.
"When we have a global answer to this, and I believe we will have one. In this next Congress, as a result of what we and other states have done, I think it'll be very good for 'brick and motar' retailers," Malloy said.
The 'brick and motar' retailers like the shopping malls have to charge the sales tax and want online retailers to do the same, so there is a more level playing field.
"The local, mom and pop retailer, main street merchant, has to charge the sales tax. The online merchant does not charge sales tax, so they have an inherent advantage. We just think that that's just unfair," Tim Phelan, the President of CT Retail Merchants Association, said.
For Governor Malloy and other Governors with budget deficit problems, the sooner the new Congress passes a uniform national plan for online retailers to charge the sales tax, the better.
"If we can predict that it would happen in the first few months and we can build it into our July 1 assumptions, there is a plus side for us," Malloy said.
Another plus for getting this done next year is the fact that many Republican Governors have dropped their opposition to collecting sales tax on online purchases.
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