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Connecticut Retailers Applaud Supreme Court Decision On Online Sales Tax

Mark Fischer
Creative Commons

A group representing Connecticut retailers is hailing Thursday's decision by the Supreme Court that will allow states to collect sales tax on online purchases. The 5-4 decision strikes down a 1992 case that restricted states from collecting sales tax from retailers that do not have a physical presence in their state.

Tim Phelan is president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association. He said the ruling is a victory for brick and mortar stores in Connecticut.

“It now allows that store to compete against a big online retailer who wouldn't have to collect and remit sales tax,” said Phelan. “That's a major shift. It's long overdue and we're really excited for our local merchants that they now are going to compete on a fair playing field.”

Phelan said the state Department of Revenue Services is reviewing the Supreme Court decision and will issue guidelines for online retailers in the near future.

An audit by the Government Accountability Office said that in 2017, states missed out on $13.7 billion in tax revenue from online sales.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series “Where Art Thou?” Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of “Morning Edition”, and later of “All Things Considered.”

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