Alaska – Communities Consider Online Sales Tax

Communities across the state may start taxing online shopping. It’s a proposal up for consideration by the Alaska Municipal League at its annual conference in Anchorage this week.

Much of Alaska already has a local sales tax for goods sold in physical stores, but online retailers are a relatively new frontier — one that the 165 Alaskan cities and boroughs, who make up the league, want to explore.

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court determined it is legal to apply local sales tax to internet retailers who sell in a location, but have no physical property or employees there. The case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, stemmed from a state tax in South Dakota. There’s no state sales tax and governor-elect Mike Dunleavy says he doesn’t plan to implement one, but AML Executive Director Nils Andreassen says he doesn’t have to.

“The fact is that there are existing taxes for a hundred different municipalities across the state, and so it’s not a new tax,” Andreassen said Tuesday. “It’s just implementing current taxes at the local level, and it doesn’t require a statewide tax, at all.”

by Liz Raines
November 13, 2018

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