NC group joins movement to require all websites to charge state sales tax

Posted December 4, 2011
Updated December 5, 2011

— A group of North Carolina citizens is lobbying Congress to require companies not based in the state who sell online to start charge state sales tax.

The Alliance for Main Street Fairness, which has branches in several states, said not all companies are doing so, which creates a less even playing field for local businesses. 

"People come into the store. They look at the appliances. They go online. They find it cheaper. The cheaper is (because) they're saving $70, $80, $100 on sales tax," Alliance for Main Street Fairness spokesman Christopher Dean said Sunday. 

The issue affects businesses like Garner TV and Appliance, which doesn't have an online store.

Small businesses hurt by lack of online sales tax Small businesses hurt by lack of online sales tax

"It's a huge, huge impact on our business that we worry about every day and what we can do to stop it," the company's Vice President of Operations, Randy Pleasant, said.

Dean said the while the problem might just sound like a bad deal for local businesses, buyers could be hurt as well because the government could become aware that they didn't pay sales tax on items if they are audited. 

"There could be serious implications down the road. Listen, nobody loves paying taxes. Nobody likes collecting taxes. But it is the law," he said. 

The legislation the Alliance is working on in Washington is in its infancy.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • FuckYouWRAL Dec 5, 2011

    "The issue affects businesses like Garner TV and Appliance, which doesn't have an online store."

    ....Funny. Their website seems to read otherwise. Another example of that fine WRAL reporting.

  • clearedd Dec 5, 2011

    As a small business owner, my 3 ecommerce businesses are located in NC. If this passes, they will be moved to another tax friendly state. Say bye bye to that income tax NC.

    To make a fair playing field, stop TAXING everything that you can. Income tax, property tax, gas tax, food tax, sales tax, liquor tax. Tax Tax Tax!

    Ron Paul 2012

  • Wake1 Dec 5, 2011

    Yeah, let's certainly pay more tax to keep main street businesses in business!! Bottom line, people want the best product they can get, for the lowest price! Mom & Pop need to understand that & make it happen, or out of business they go - unless they deliver such exceptional customer service that folks don't mind paying a little extra.

  • fayncmike Dec 5, 2011

    "As far as reporting on the D-400, I heard early in the life of that dreaded tax calculation, that less than 100 people paid any use tax in the state.

    That many?:)

  • fayncmike Dec 5, 2011

    "What Nonsense... What about the shipping costs from Online shops, that usually negates the savings of Taxes."

    I deal a lot with I got my 40 inch flat panel TV almost $50.00 cheaper then in town and shipping was #2.98. However I now pay the $20.00/year membership fee and get free shipping. Actually some friends of mine share the account and we split the membership. How can you beat that?

  • beachboater Dec 5, 2011

    North Carolina does have a Sales and USE tax. It's one tax, one rate and is to be paid on any items purchased out of state for use in N.C.

    I don't think the state of NC or any other state is trying to get you to pay use tax on a jacket or a tennis racket you buy in another state if you pay tax to that state. They are looking for items that get by the sales tax.

    Sales tax is a large part of the state budget and is one tax that everyone must pay.

    As far as reporting on the D-400, I heard early in the life of that dreaded tax calculation, that less than 100 people paid any use tax in the state.

  • hardycitrus Dec 5, 2011 $4,000 purchase was a Black Friday on-line special with free shipping that I purchased for a business.

    The "use tax" may come up in this scenario!

  • OGE Dec 5, 2011

    Actually it has everything to do with small business. The "megastores" are paying the tax anyway, they don't care. This issue is solely about fairness. A level playing field. If you owned a business like this and were losing sales, you'd be all for it. You don't so you're not. Sounds like most of you don't want to pay taxes, which is understandable, but also why the compliance rate with the use tax is almost zero. Are those saying they buy online for convenience sake and not about paying tax, actually paying the use tax? I suspect not. And who buys a $1200 appliance online and has it shipped to their house? The shipping would likely be much more than the tax would be. Again I understand not wanting to pay tax, no one really does, but at least learn some facts.

    for the consumer it's got nothing to do with wanting to skip out on the sales tax...the bottom line is how much am I paying before any tax is added...if the brick and mortar stores can't compete on price it sucks to

  • ProudBlackSingleMother Dec 5, 2011

    This whole thing sounds like a scam. Dean and his special interest cronies need to stuff it.

  • WRALMODSSUCK Dec 5, 2011

    Hey, let's just repeal the "use tax." Let's get right on that people... It would be nice to repeal it legally, through our representatives, but if they will not bow to the majority will of the people.... then we will vote them out...