We reported yesterday that Rockland County saw a dip in sales tax collections so far this year, but the county and the rest of the state could get a needed boost if congressional legislation is passed.
Congress is considering a bill, supported by Democrats and Republicans, many of whom recently dropped their opposition, that would allow states to decide whether to tax online sales.
The bill could bring New York $1.78 billion in new annual revenue with more than $23 billion generated nationwide, according to estimates from the National Conference of State Legislatures. New Jersey and Connecticut stand to collect an additional $413.4 million and $152.4 million a year, respectively.
For years, consumers have gotten a tax break when purchasing products online. Online retailers, such as Amazon.com, are only obligated to collect sales taxes on purchases in states where they have a physical presence. Brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Wal-Mart, said the loophole gives online retailers an unfair advantage.
Amazon collects sales taxes in New York, where it has offices. But the company is challenging the legality of a state law passed several years ago that requires it to collect taxes based on its affiliates.