John Hageman Forum News Service 18 hrs ago, March 9, 2017
Arguing it would balance the scales between brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers, North Dakota business groups promoted legislation requiring out-of-state sellers to collect and remit sales tax during a House committee hearing Wednesday.
Proponents of the legislation, which was introduced by Sen. Dwight Cook, R-Mandan, the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee chairman, argued the tax code gives online businesses a “government-sponsored advantage.” It comes as some retailers struggle — Macy’s announced plans to close in Grand Forks and a handful of stores have shuttered in Fargo’s West Acres Mall — and more consumers shop online.
“Every day, the brick-and-mortar stores in our community are required to collect state sales tax, while many out-of-state competitors get a free pass,” said Mike Rud, president of the North Dakota Retail Association. That results in an “automatic price advantage” that hampers local businesses, he said.