Online retailing is hardly cutting-edge anymore. In fact, it’s been cutting out traditional brick-and-mortar stores for some time when it’s not just taking them over the way Amazon absorbed Whole Foods.
But the state of Texas still isn’t getting its full share, and fair share, of sales tax revenue from online retailers.
That needs to change in 2019. Since June, states have had the power, per the Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc., to collect sales tax on internet sales even if the internet shop has no physical presence in the state.
Texas has been less than aggressive in going after all the state is due — something that needs to change in the coming legislative session.
Look, it’s not that we are any more eager than the next guy to see more taxes piled on. But fair is fair. And brick-and-mortar stores that employ Texans and that have invested in real estate and buildings in the state are having to remit sales taxes to the government. The playing field needs to be leveled as fast as possible.
To be clear, Texas isn’t leaving everything on the table. Large online retailers like Amazon have been remitting taxes on purchases in Texas. But many smaller retailers and third-party sellers aren’t. That amounts to untold revenue — millions of dollars, certainly — should be paid to the state that aren’t.
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