South Dakotans may see lower rate after sales tax ruling

Jenny Kane  Associated Press

The Illinois provision mirrors the South Dakota law at the center of the Supreme Court case, and is scheduled to go into effect on October 1.

The ruling is a victory for big chains with a presence in many states, since they usually collect sales tax on online purchases already.

Amazon has actually been long collecting state and local sales tax-but only for items it sells directly, which is about half of its business. "The change effected by the Court's decision will promote parity between our state's brick and mortar businesses and competing out-of-state sellers".

The case that triggered this new decision was South Dakota v. Wayfair, which was caused by the state's efforts to enforce a law allowing it to collect taxes on merchants that make over 200 transactions with state residents or draw in at least $100,000 in business annually. So far, more than 250 companies have registered to collect sales taxes on MA consumers as a result, although the rule remains subject to a court challenge by Crutchfield, an out-of-state electronics retailer.

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, dissented.

A spokesperson for the department said the state is still reviewing the court's decision.

A "quarter century of experience has convinced me" the Supreme Court's earlier decision was no longer justified, he wrote, adding that it was "never too late" to arrive at a better position.

Gerrymandering arguments must prove harm to voters
Supreme Court said a decision on the merits can not proceed without standing , and the plaintiff Democrats did not have it. Roberts responded that cracking and packing must be analyzed at the district level.

The US Supreme Court ruled in favour of South Dakota. "While we believe the Court was not the ideal venue for creating this level playing field, we expect that today's decision will bring clarity and certainty to this issue", Wayfair spokeswoman Susan Frechette said in a statement.

Buyers have to pay sales tax if they are shopping from a big box store online because many have stores in every state. Smaller, local businesses also complained that the previous decisions put them at a disadvantage with online competitors.

In addition to being a win for states, the ruling is a win for large and small retailers, who argued the physical presence rule was unfair.

Amazon.com and some other online retailers began collecting the 6 percent sales tax from MI in October 2015 under the state's Main Street Fairness Act.

The federal Government Accountability Office estimated last november that states could have collected between $8.5 billion and $13.4 billion in sales taxes in 2017 if they had expanded taxing authority.

The Trump administration had urged the justices to side with South Dakota.

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