(Indianapolis, Ind.) - On Cyber Monday, Indiana retail businesses called for lawmakers to level the playing field between them and online merchants.
Those cries from the Indiana Retail Council and Indiana Merchants for Tax Fairness, organizations representing hundreds of businesses across the state, were heard by two state lawmakers, Rep. Ed Delaney (D-Indianapolis) and Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte), the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. The two state representatives said - not coincidentally on the busiest online shopping day of the year - that they will file legislation seeking to implement Indiana’s seven percent sales tax on some online businesses starting July 1, 2013.
The proposed law to be considered in the 2013 legislative session would affect online retailers who have a physical presence – such as a warehouse or distribution facility – in the state.
Federal law requires online shoppers to voluntarily send in the taxes on their purchases, but very few people actually do so when filing. A 2011 study by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute says Indiana loses about $77 million in revenue from un-taxed online sales.
In January, Governor Mitch Daniels struck a deal with online sales giant Amazon to begin collecting the seven percent sales tax on purchases made by Indiana residents starting in 2014. For the retail store groups, that is not soon enough.
State Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) said Tuesday he supports the idea of collecting online sales tax.
“I was a small business man and I competed directly with online sales and it is an uneven playing field,” he said. “I look forward to hearing the debate on that legislation.”
The 2013 Indiana legislative session is scheduled to begin January 7.