: 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.

WAMU 88.5

Verdine White On 45 Years With Earth, Wind & Fire

Forty-five years ago, the band “Earth, Wind and Fire” introduced audiences to a new kind of funk--one that fused soul, jazz, Latin and pop. Bassist Verdine White talks to guest host Derek McGinty about breaking racial boundaries in music and how the band is still evolving.

NPR

If War Is Hell, Then Coffee Has Offered U.S. Soldiers Some Salvation

"Nobody can soldier without coffee," a Union cavalryman wrote in 1865. Hidden Kitchens looks at three American wars through the lens of coffee: the Civil War, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia's Own Tim Kaine Takes The Democratic Veepstakes

We consider Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine's regional ties and the pros and cons of his vice presidential candidacy as the DNC gets underway.

NPR

Verizon Buys Yahoo For $4.8 Billion In Cash, Touting Gains In Mobile

The deal comes more than a year after Verizon paid $4.4 billion to acquire AOL; as part of Verizon, Yahoo will join the same division AOL currently occupies.

Leave a Comment

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