The “Amazon bill,” which recently made it through the Virginia General Assembly and was signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell, could be going nationwide.
The Virginia Main Street Leadership Council (VMSLC) will lobby Congress to pass a similar bill in order to create a more level playing field between brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers such as Amazon. Currently, states can’t collect sales tax from an online retailer unless that retailer has a physical presence in the state.
Virginia’s new bill allows the Commonwealth to collect taxes from Amazon because of its warehouse and data center in Sterling. Prior to the bill’s passage, even that didn’t require Amazon to collect and remit sales taxes because the building did not handle sales. (Since then, Amazon has announced plans to open distribution centers in Chesterfield and Dinwiddie counties.)
Amazon has also agreed to similar rules in Texas and Nevada. But the VSMLC will push for a federal law that applies to all states, rather than the current piecemeal approach.
The new taxes collected will raise an estimated $24 million for Virginia’s state and local governments. What do you think? Will a national approach simplify matters for taxpayers?