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As a brick-and-mortar store in one of the 45 states with sales tax, a merchant is required by law to collect tax on their sales; this is also applicable to online merchants selling to customers in their own states. However, this does not apply to out-of-state online merchants who can negatively affect local stores by offering lower pricing because of low expenses and high volume of goods.

Did you know that under the Quill Corp. v. North Dakota Supreme Court ruling in 1992, sales tax does not apply to customers purchasing from merchants that do not have a physical presence in their state; for example if you are an Illinois resident, you will not pay sales tax when purchasing goods from Zappos or Amazon. Click here to view a US map where Amazon collects sales tax.

How does this affect retailers?

Many customers who once shopped at a local and physical retailer or small shop are turning to online shopping to avoid the tax, which is up to 10% in some areas. A consumer may come into a local shoe store to try on for size, then purchase online where they can avoid paying extra dollars for the same pair of shoes.

How does this affect the local community?

Sales tax is revenue needed to pay salaries of police officers, firefighters and public school teachers.

What can you do to get involved?

Ask Congress to take action on e-fairness legislation in order to level the playing field.

ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) is active in promoting and lobbying for E-Fairness. We encourage you to use the organization as a resource or contact Scott Carr via email here for additional information and lobbying efforts.

For more resources please visit the pages below:

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