The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that states can collect sales taxes from online retailers. Brick-and-mortar retailers cheered the decision. Gov. Charlie Baker hailed the ruling as “a good day for states, and it’s a good day for those in the retail space who have been for many years disadvantaged because of the two-tiered system.” But the practical effect in Massachusetts may be more about providing clarity than gaining any substantial new revenue, since Massachusetts already started collecting taxes from online sales last year — despite a lawsuit challenging those collections. “It certainly clears up any confusion, clears up some of the rhetoric,” said Rep. Jay Kaufman, D-Lexington, chairman of the Committee on Revenue. Retailers who own physical stores have been lobbying Congress for years to overturn the 1992 Quill decision by the Supreme Court. That decision established that online retailers only had to collect the state sales tax in states where they had a physical presence. Local retailers said this put them at a competitive disadvantage, since someone could avoid the state sales tax by buying online. “It’s a drain on our economy and a drain on our main streets and our local sellers,” said Jon Hurst, president of… Read full this story
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