AG Hood Calls Internet Sales Tax Ruling a “victory for our Main Street merchants”
The following is a statement from Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood in response to Thursday’s United States Supreme Court ruling allowing states to require online retailers to collect sales taxes:
“Today’s ruling is a victory for our Main Street merchants in Mississippi. It puts them on a level playing field with large, out-of-state and international corporations. We attorneys general have been extremely successful in convincing the United States Supreme Court that the United States Constitution protects the states from federal legislative and judicial overreach. I don’t think I have lost on any of these cases where huge international corporations try to use our Congress or federal courts to preempt state laws designed to protect our consumers and state laws.
“I have supported an internet sales tax from the beginning, not only because it will bring an estimated $50 million in the first year for our state, but because this means our local brick and mortar stores are now on a level playing field with businesses that have no storefront in Mississippi. Before Amazon and others started paying voluntarily, the estimated internet sales tax collection for Mississippi was $134 million. Sales taxes from internet purchases from companies without in-state stores were already owed. It was just a matter of who collected it.
“We live in a digital age, and our laws must reflect that. Online shopping may be convenient, but it’s had a negative impact on our Main Street merchants who have always been required to charge a sales tax. When our local businesses suffer, so do we. Now, there’s no difference in someone walking into a store to buy shoes and sitting on their couch and doing the same thing from their phone. Today’s ruling makes it a fairer market and creates an opportunity for our cash-strapped state to bring in a new revenue stream to fix our deteriorating roads and bridges and fund our children’s education.”
General Hood has joined four amicus briefs in three United States Supreme Court cases on the issues of internet sales tax collections in the states.