For many years, local retailers have operated with a disadvantage: They have to collect sales tax from their customers, while online competitors dont. That means online outlets could basically offer the same thing as a local store with a 9 percent discount, due simply to government policy.
That could change now, and it ought to.
The Supreme Court this past week ruled in a case from South Dakota that states could collect sales taxes on online sales, even if the vendor did not have a physical presence in the state. That reversed a court ruling from 1992 that said the opposite, which of course had paved the way for the explosion of internet sales.
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