Businesses Request Legislation for Online Sales Tax

October 24 00:00 2011

New York, October 24 ( – Indiana’s Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy has been asked by three businesses to legislate for an online tax to be set by Congress for a level playing field for all businesses. At the center of the problem is the approval given by lawmakers to Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and for not collecting sales tax even if they have a physical presence in Indiana. At present, retailers without a physical presence in the state need not collect sales tax. Amazon has been exempted from collecting sales tax even if it has a physical presence in the state.

Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, asked the commission to persuade congressmen to pass one of the three bills regarding the issue by Dec. 31, before the next session of the Indiana General Assembly begins.
Michael Piotrowski, general manager of the Terre Haute Best Buy, said that customers choose to purchase products from a different online retailer to avoid the sales tax, even though his employees provide all the information about the product. He said, “We love competition. We think it’s great,” but “it’s unfair for employees to not be able to match prices.”

Grant Monahan, the Indiana Retail Council President, said although he would prefer to have a federal solution, Indiana can also do something right now regarding Amazon, which has four fulfillment centers around the state.

Dennis May, the CEO and president of HH Gregg, which has its headquarters in Indiana, said that although he supports online sales, his company has to collect sales tax whereas other retailers do not.