Brick-and-Mortar Business Owners Support Internet Sales Tax

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Updated: 3/25/2013 7:11 pm

Chattanooga, Tenn. (WDEF) -- Senator Lamar Alexander is pushing for an internet sales tax.

And the majority of the Senate is on board with the proposed change.

Known as the "Marketplace Fairness Act" the legislation would give states the power to collect taxes on purchases consumers make from Internet companies.

Art Creations owner Tony Mines says he's all for it.

Mines says "I think it's very unfair for small retailers like myself to have that kind of a percentage disadvantage, nine and a quarter percent here, that's significant, especially when we're already discounted to try to compete with the internet sales."

Mines has owned his North Chattanooga store for 41 years and says uniform sales taxes would make for a more fair competition between online retailers and brick and mortar stores like his.

"I have to collect sales tax. I don't have any choice there, so this does level the playing field at least that amount. That's almost ten percent," Mines says.

River City Apparel Co-Owner Dave Kemmerer says all merchants should collect the same sales taxes.

Kemmerer says "I don't necessarily feel disadvantaged, I just don't think it's right that we should have to collect the tax and someone else, just because they're selling on the internet, doesn't have to."

Opponents of the legislation say the system would be too complicated, but Kemmerer disagrees.

"The technology is available. They can collect it by jurisdiction and handle it in an efficient fashion," he says.

It's estimated that $20 billion in sales taxes go uncollected every year by out-of-state online merchants.

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