The subject of a sales tax on internet shopping sales is a thorny issue for most states including Oklahoma. But soon, perhaps, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether states can require retailers to collect sales tax for online purchases.
It’s a subject that certainly had the attention of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin in 2017.
“There is no question the dramatic downturn in our energy sector and an increased loss of sales tax revenue from online shopping the last couple of years have affected out state—both in our private and public sectors,” said the governor in her 2017 state of the state address to the legislature.
Now the Supreme court has agreed to hear South Dakota v. Wayfair which could lead to a reversal of the 1992 ruling that prevents state and local governments from requiring the collection of sales taxes for online purchases.
It stems from a decision by the South Dakota legislature in 2016 to pass a bill requiring any retailer with more than $100,000 in sales per year to pay a 4.5 percent state tax on purchases.
States might have lost as much as $13 billion in 2017 according to a recent report by Endgadget.
Of course, online retailers have fought the legislation and that’s what led to the case going before the highest court in the land.