In light of the recent Supreme Court decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, many of Long Island’s local businesses joined together Monday to call for Amazon to begin collecting state sales tax on all purchases. Organized by the Nassau County (NY) Chamber of Commerce and owners of local businesses, the message showed both unity and urgency, as Amazon that day launched its annual Prime Day promotion, bringing in more than 100 million sales for the online retailer. Together, these local businesses say Amazon must level the playing field.
“We all think it’s way past time for e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Wayfair and Overstock to comply with the Supreme Court decision,” said Francesca Carlow, president of the Chamber of Commerce and former owner of Trio Hardware. “They should immediately begin collecting and remitting sales taxes on all transactions.”
In South Dakota v. Wayfair, the Supreme Court overruled a decades-long tax loophole that prohibited states from requiring online businesses to collect sales tax on purchases. Previously, states could only require retailers to collect sales tax if those retailers had a physical presence within the borders of the state. With the June decision, the Supreme Court called the physical-presence requirement “unsound,” noting that modern technology makes it easier than ever for online retailers to comply with state regulations.
For states and communities, the new ruling paves the way for greater sales tax revenue. For Long Island’s locally owned businesses, it’s about fostering fair competition between online retailers and Main Street.
“We’re not against online sales,” said Robert Fonti, co-chairman of the Long Island Business Council. “We just want to make sure we close that loophole and help the small businesses survive on Main Street.”
The timely message came during a press conference appropriately held outside one of those Main Street businesses. Dozens of local business owners, leaders and advocates came together for the event. Particularly on Prime Day, their message showed that brick-and-mortar retailers have a place in the 21st century market.
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