Cyber Monday 2011 was the best online shopping day in history, with online sales rising 22 percent to $1.3 billion this year. That’s good news for our sluggish national economy, but for brick-and-mortar businesses closer to home, it’s the season once again to rue revenue that might’ve been.
Last year, local businesses across the country lost billions in sales – and
On Thursday, four N.C. retailers from the group participated in a conference call with reporters to protest the advantage current laws give to online retailers like Amazon.com. The group’s complaint is this: States, including
Retailers say that physical presence in a state, called a “nexus,” should be redefined in the modern marketplace. Andrew Riddle, owner of Aging in Place in
Now, after years of wrangling with online retailers, Congress is on the edge of a breakthrough, with bi-partisan bills in the U.S. House and Senate. The Senate bill even has the early, critical backing of Amazon.com. The bills would allow states to compel Internet retailers to collect taxes, but they would require those states to adopt streamlined and simplified rules that make it easier for online retailers to collect from different states.
The bills each would exempt smaller online retailers from collecting sales taxes. Companies with less than $500,000 in annual online sales get the waiver in the Senate bill. In the House version, which is co-sponsored by N.C. Rep. Renee Elmers, the threshold is $1 million in annual sales.
Those exemptions might elicit a rightful humbug from brick-and-mortar businesses, who receive no such break on collecting sales taxes. But the legislation, overall, is fair, and it would end years of an unlevel playing field. The bills haven’t progressed past the committee stage yet, so there’s no hope for passage this holiday season. But we urge Congress to provide prompt delivery on a new law.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Posted by The Observer Editorial Board at 8:21 PM