Monday, September 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Christie's Quest To Tax Internet Sales Could Eventually Reap $300 Million

Building on last year’s online sales tax agreement with Amazon, Gov. Chris Christie’s upcoming budget includes a plan to require out-of-state Internet retailers to collect sales tax from New Jerseyans. It's also an issue that is up for consideration by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and one that puts Christie at odds with most of his potential rivals for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

Christie’s Quest To Tax Internet Sales Could Eventually Reap $300 Million

DANIEL ACKER / Bloomberg

Building on last year’s online sales tax agreement with Amazon, Gov. Chris Christie’s upcoming budget includes a plan to require out-of-state Internet retailers to collect sales tax from New Jerseyans. It's also an issue that is up for consideration by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives and one that puts Christie at odds with most of his potential rivals for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

Christie’s treasurer, Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff, decided to include $28 million in his budget for Fiscal Year 2015 for sales tax collections by online retailers who have no stores or outlets in New Jersey after the U.S. Supreme Court decided in December not to take up an appeal challenging the right of New York State to require out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax from its citizens.

The Supreme Court’s decision not to take up the case essentially gave states a yellow light to proceed with requiring out-of-state retailers to collect sales tax on Internet purchasers while the GOP-controlled House decides whether to join the Democratic Senate in approving the federal Marketplace Fairness Act, which would authorize the practice nationwide.

That $28 million -- combined with some $40 million in Internet sales taxes expected to be collected by Amazon and other retailers with facilities in New Jersey -- is just a fraction of the $300 million to $400 million the cash-strapped New Jersey state government could expect to collect if all New Jerseyans paid the 7 percent sales tax on taxable online purchases, according to academic studies.

Sidamon-Eristoff defended the Internet sales-tax initiative as an issue of “tax fairness” that would “level the playing field by requiring out-of-state on-line retailers to collect the same sales tax as brick-and-mortar retailers” located in New Jersey.

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