Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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March 14, 2013

Online sales tax bill may not get Senate hearing

Bill will likely die without hearing.

(Continued)

Indianapolis —

Last year, after the Indianapolis-based  shopping mall giant, Simon Property Group, sued the state over the deal, Amazon agreed to start collecting the sales tax in 2014.

The difference between the Amazon-agreed date and House Bill 1007 is only six months, but it means millions of dollars in lost sales tax revenues for the state. And supporters of the bill say it would force Amazon and online retailers to start charging the sales tax during the two of busiest shopping seasons – the late summer back-to-school and the  Christmas holidays. 

Last month, the House voted 79-18 in favor of the bill after similar concerns to Mishler’s were raised by Rep. David Wolkins, a Republican from Winona Lake.

“If I were the CEO of a company looking at Indiana, I’d say ‘Why should I believe you?’” Wolkins said.

State Rep. Matt Pierce, a Bloomington Democrat who supported the bill, said he didn’t believe Daniels had the authority to cut the original deal with Amazon.

The online sales tax issue has grown in importance in recent years, as more consumers are shifting to online purchases and as the state relies more on sales tax revenues to pay for education and other public services.

A study completed last year by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute and Ball State University researchers estimates the state loses out $114 million a year in uncollected sales taxes on Internet purchases.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

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