Bill requiring online retailers to collect sales tax heads to senate floor

Published: Mar. 10, 2018 at 11:30 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A bill requiring online retailers to collect and remit sales tax on online purchases is heading to the senate floor.

Representative Lance Clow sponsored the bill from the House where it has already passed. He has introduced legislation like this for six years.

"It's always been more of a fairness issue to me," Clow said.

The bill would make retailers who sell at least $10,000 in Idaho each year collect and remit sales tax. HB 578 would also make it okay for business to dispute their involvement with the Idaho Tax Commission.

Clow said he's been concerned about this even before his time in state government because of the inherent advantage an online retailer would have if they don't charge sales tax.

"It was creating an unfair status on local business because they are collecting and remitting the tax whereas out of state retailers that were selling by the internet or by mail, this includes by mail or phone as ell, were not," Clow said.

The Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce supports this bill.

"This levels the playing field for brick-and-mortar stores in Twin Falls," said Shawn Barigar, the Twin Falls Chamber of Commerce president.

Last year Amazon voluntarily starting charging and remitting sales tax to Idaho.

Clow estimates that the bill could bring in between $22 million and $37 million a year in sales tax. Though he said it's tough to judge because that money isn't being tracked on online sales right now.