Virginia Moves To Capture Sales Tax On Internet Purchases | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Filed Under:

Virginia Moves To Capture Sales Tax On Internet Purchases

Play associated audio

By Meymo Lyons

A bill that would require global online shopping giants such as Amazon to start collecting and paying Virginia sales taxes won easy Senate passage.

The Senate voted 28-12 to advance to the House a bill intended to collect millions of dollars in lost revenue at a time when the state faces a $4 billion shortfall.

Sponsor Emmett Hanger argued that struggling owners of so-called "brick-and-mortar" stores are struggling and shouldn't have to compete with monied multinationals who ignore state taxes.

"They're being undercut by businesses that don't pay sales taxes, and that flaunt it," said Hanger, R-Augusta, noting that their Web sites entice customers to avoid the 5 percent tax.

While sales have been flat or worse for traditional retailers who have to pay the tax, Hanger said, multinational Internet sales behemoths have seen profits soar.

"And that is a significant amount of revenue that Virginia is losing and we should be getting part of that," he said.

Opponents, however, said the bill would have no effect on the major global online retailers it attempts to target. Instead, it would devastate small, Virginia-based online businesses who form alliances with the major companies, said Sen. Mark Herring, D-Loudoun, whose district includes the Dulles headquarters of AOL.

NPR

How To Sell Diverse Books: A Bookstore Owner's Advice

It's not news that the publishing world isn't very diverse. But over on the other side of the industry, how do owners of neighborhood bookstores try to sell books for or about people of color?
NPR

Can Quinoa Take Root On The 'Roof Of The World'?

Quinoa, once a homebody crop, crossed the Atlantic for the first time this century. Now the Food and Agriculture Organization has a hunch it can thrive in Central and Southwest Asia.
NPR

North Carolina Senate Race Shapes Up As Unpopularity Contest

One of the most expensive Senate races this year is in North Carolina, where Democratic incumbent Kay Hagen is trying to keep her job. Her approval numbers are dismal, but so are those for her GOP opponent, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis.
NPR

Islamic State Uses Online Strategies To Get Its Message Out

Experts say the videotaped killing of journalist James Foley is part of a broader propaganda strategy by Islamist militants. The group, the Islamic State, has become a master of the video medium.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.