Online sales tax proposal could change the way you shop - WRBL

Online sales tax proposal could change the way you shop

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

If you like to search the web for great deals, be prepared to fork over some extra money.

On the Internet you can buy just about anything under the sun, many times avoiding sales tax, but if the Senate approves the Marketplace Fairness Act, that could change.

Under the online sales tax proposal consumers would have to pay state and local taxes where they live every time they check out.

Linda Vice buys a variety of products online and says, "I don't like it a bit. Those legislators just can't keep their hands out of our pockets, can they?"

The Outside World manager Chris Largent says online sales hurt business, especially when people spend time looking at a product then leave to buy it online at a cheaper price, so he's happy about the prospect of change.

"We also sell things online as well as in our retail store, so that may hurt a little bit as far as online sales," says he says, "but at the same time we will now have more customers coming in because they can pick up the same items with sales tax either way and actually have hands on the product."

Although local merchants think the sales tax will help their business, some consumers say they'll stick to e-commerce.

Frequent online shopper Kayra Velez says, "There are a few stores I don't mind going into, but for the most part I'd rather shop online."

"I live in the country, and it's like having a modern Sears & Roebuck catalog," says Vice.

Largent still has faith in customer service however. He says, "I had a guy actually, we've dealt with him in the past, he's bought a couple kayaks already and found a boat that we sell in the store cheaper online out of Texas, and he wouldn't have to pay shipping or sales tax, but instead he came back to us because of the great customer service he experienced here."

The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that states lost more than $11 billion in sales tax revenue last year due to internet retailers in other states. Currently online retailers only have to charge sales tax if they have a brick-and-mortar store in the same state as the customer.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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