Latest US Supreme Court decision could hit SC wallets. Here's how

Vladimir Gendelman

They instead suggested that Congress should pass legislation simplifying online sales tax to create a level playing field.

Congresswoman and GOP gubernatorial nominee Kristi Noem supports today's U.S. Supreme Court decision which allows states like South Dakota to tax online sales.

In a 5-4 decision, the high court agreed with the states that the physical presence rule, which had been established by previous court decisions in 1967 and 1992 before the advent of modern internet commerce, was flawed.

How will this affect your wallet?

Wayfair, the Supreme Court decided states are entitled to collect tax on sales that occur within their boundaries, even when the seller does not have a physical presence, or nexus, in the state. This would amount to substantial savings for shoppers. The pre-internet era physical presence rule put "local businesses ... at a competitive disadvantage relative to remote sellers", and it "produced an incentive to avoid physical presence in multiple states", Kennedy wrote in his opinion. Sellers who use eBay and Etsy, which provide platforms for smaller sellers, also aren't required to collect sales tax nationwide.

Some small businesses worry that their online sales will become overly complex if they have to collect sales taxes for many states.

I get it: You liked not having to pay sales tax on some of the things you bought.

Amazon isn't the only Seattle company indirectly impacted by the Supreme Court decision.

Many today are saying, what took so long?

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The Vermont Tax Department estimates the ruling could result in the state netting between $3 million and $10 million next fiscal year.

North Dakota loses out on an estimated $50 million a year in sales tax that now doesn't get collected by out-of-state sellers, according to tax department spokeswoman Jen Raab.

"Online retailers still have a lot of pricing power because their overhead costs are low and that would make it hard for those with stores to benefit substantially".

The Supreme Court ruling in a 2016 South Dakota case overturns a 1992 decision, Quill Corp. v. Amazon collects state sales tax on items it sells directly, but third party vendors on Amazon are now not required to collect the tax.

Don't I already pay sales tax when I buy online?

Senate Finance Chair Craig Blair says he agrees with Justice from that standpoint.

At a local retailer, a consumer is going to pay a six percent tax rate.

"I want to stress that we're not looking at this as an additional revenue stream".

Consultants like Mark Grinis, partner, global real estate at EY, said he did not expect a surge in demand for stores even if prices ticked up for online businesses.

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