Proposed Internet Tax Could 'Level the Playing Field' - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Proposed Internet Tax Could 'Level the Playing Field'


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - The United States Senate is set to vote Monday on a bill that would give states the power to charge sales tax for online purchases. Right now, a state can only collect sales taxes if the online company has a brick and mortar store in that state.

The measure is expected to pass the Senate, but it faces opposition in the House.


But what does that mean locally? If the new law is passed, the Michigan Retailers' Association's Tom Scott says that it would finally make things fair.

"The Internet retailers from out of state get a 6 percent price advantage over our Michigan based businesses. Which is not only unfair but it's harmful on our economy," said Scott. He says you should pay Michigan's sales tax no matter where you buy something.

Lansing's Elderly Instruments do nearly two thirds of their business online and ship to other states constantly, but they also do a large amount of in store business. That means the store would be affected on both sides.

"My hope is that the quality and service that we provide to those people will override any sales tax issues," said Stan Werbin.

And Werbin hopes his customers around the country will stay loyal, even if it means a sales tax wherever they buy it from. "The fact it will cost a little more to buy from us than it did before, I like to think that wouldn't matter."

On the state level, Michigan lawmakers are discussing a law that would make Internet retailers like Amazon or E-Bay collect sales tax if they have a distribution center in the state.

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