States, Congress Rallying for an E-Sales Tax
A wave of states have passed laws that will require consumers to pay sales tax on all Internet purchases as soon as next year, the Washington Post reported today. Other states and the District of Columbia are pursuing similar measures, and in Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) wants to go further and levy a tax on songs and other digital products bought through popular sources such as iTunes. For states struggling in the troubled economy, this could mean $23 billion in new revenue each year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Bricks-and-mortar retailers are cheering the moves. For years, their online rivals have resisted charging sales tax, giving them a price advantage. They have cited a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that let online companies off the hook if they did not have a physical presence in the state where the customer lived.