Wyoming will soon enjoy a significant new source of tax revenue — that’s thanks to a Supreme Court decision Thursday. Since 1992, online retailers have not been forced to collect or pay state sales taxes.
Chris Brown, executive director of the Wyoming Retail Association, said the decision is hugely important in putting brick and mortar shops back onto a level playing field.
“I even had some Wyoming retailers say to me that patrons would come in and educate themselves about products and then show the main street retailer, ‘well look, I can get this online at this price sales tax free, if you meet that I'll buy it here.’ So, it really put main street retailers at a competitive disadvantage,” Brown said.
Online retailers argued charging sales tax is burdensome - especially for smaller operations who have consumers around the country. The court calculated states have missed out on an estimated $8 to 33 billion per year (pg. 7/40).
"It’s about time that main street retailers can operate on a level playing field with their online-only counterparts, it’s fair business, it’s frequently market, and it’s a long time coming,” Brown said.