In the video below, Stephen Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties, and Mark LaVigne, deputy director, discuss the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear an appeal of online sales taxes in New York.
In New York, an appeals court ruled in March that Amazon.com, Overstock.com and other online retailers that pay in-state websites for connecting them with customers doesn’t violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The ruling on online sales taxes “really preserves the ability for county governments to provide essential services without asking the homeowner to pay more,” Aquario says.
Retailers that don’t have a physical presence in New York but earn at least $10,000 a year from in-state retailers that get commissions are required to pay sales taxes, based on a state law adopted in 2008.
About a dozen states have laws that are similar to New York’s, according to USA Today, including Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont. The laws in Illinois and Colorado are tied up in court. The newspaper cited a National Conference of State Legislatures statistic that states stood to lose about $23 billion last year because they could not collect sales taxes from most online, phone and catalog purchases.