The Rhode Island Senate has asked Congress to pass the Main Street Fairness Act allowing states to require online retailers to collect sales tax.
This article from local WPRI.com includes a quote from Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio, who sponsored the legislation:
“Brick and mortar retail establishments are at a competitive disadvantage with their online counterparts because these entities engaged in electronic commerce are not required to collect sales taxes,” said Ruggerio in a press release. “This discrepancy not only gives an unfair advantage to out-of-state online retailers, but the foregone revenue to the state places added burdens on all of Rhode Island’s taxpaying residents and businesses.”
The article adds,
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates that Rhode Island will lose an estimated $70.4 million in Fiscal Year 2012 because of the inability to require remote sellers to collect state sales and use taxes.
Washington State recently passed a similar resolution, and we believe that we’re going to see more and more of these resolutions until the Main Street Fairness Act is introduced.
States are making their needs known; now it’s up to Congress to act.