Many North Dakota businesses will benefit and the state will enjoy more revenue with the Supreme Court’s decision allowing the collection of sales taxes from online retailers.
Using the state’s most recent study, the North Dakota Tax Commissioner's office estimates $25 million to $30 million was not collected in 2012 because online retailers weren’t required to collect.
Since 2012, online purchases have increased by as much as 50 percent, so North Dakota Retail Association President Mike Rud estimates more recent losses at $30 million to $40 million.
The Tribune Editorial Board believes it’s a good decision and will level the playing field for businesses, especially local merchants who lack the size to compete with some retail giants.
We realize that customers will be disappointed by the extra costs, but this is a fairness issue. There are some North Dakota businesses that rely on selling products online and they will face extra costs and work.
In the 1992 case, Quill vs. North Dakota, the Supreme Court prohibited states from collecting sales taxes from out of state businesses. Last week’s decision overturns that ruling.
North Dakota is poised to begin collecting the sales tax. The Legislature passed a law in 2017 to address the remote seller sales tax. Under the legislation, the sales tax takes effect on the date of the Supreme Court decision.
Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger will be working with other state officials over the next few weeks to implement the tax. The National Retail Federation, which filed a brief with the court in favor of the sales tax, says technology makes collecting the tax much easier and less of a burden on businesses than in 1992.
It was time online retailers were held to the same standards as local businesses they are competing with. The sales tax won’t drive away all the customers from online businesses. Shopping locally and online each has its advantages.
Not paying the sales tax was an unfair advantage.
Thirty-six states and the District of Columbia urged the Supreme Court to revisit the issue. In a brief, the states noted they were suffering economically by not being able to collect sales tax.
So while people shopping online will have to pay more they also will benefit from their state collecting sales tax. That money, indirectly, will be plowed back into state services.
The court’s decision was the right one.