Thursday, February 09, 2017

Lake Retailers Get A More Level Playing Field

Local lake retailers should be having a bit of a celebration.  Starting February 1st, 2017 (yes, it's already begun), any purchases from Amazon will be subject to a 4.225% sales tax.  No more window shopping at a brick and mortar store only to go home and purchase the same item tax free on Amazon. To be fair, the trend for the number of states imposing sales tax on Amazon purchases has only been going up over the past few years, and it won't be long before all states follow suit I imagine.

Although the law that makes this possible was passed in 2013, the conditions for it to take effect only happened recently as Amazon announced the expansion of distribution centers across the country and an additional 100,000 jobs, which will include Missouri I guess. These will not be good paying jobs of course, but no one qualified the push for job growth in the state with the requirement they had to be good ones. So in exchange for a presumably small number of unskilled labor jobs, all Missourians now get to pay more for their online purchases.

I'm sure retailers large and small find it frustrating that they lose business to Amazon, but as a consumer, I'm only interested in my own bottom line, which just took a nearly 5% hit. Is this good for state revenue?  It remains to be seen, but obviously it's a revenue enhancement of some kind.  What is clear is that for young tech savvy families just interested in saving money, the sales-tax free party is over.

Anecdotally: I have made a purchase on Amazon this month, but wasn't charged sales tax....hmm.

Of course, the story isn't as simple as I make it, but since we all seem to enjoy getting our news within our own bubbles, you can choose your own source for more details.

Conservative Fox news link.

Not So Conservative news link. (I don't know if the St. Louis Post-Dispatch would embrace being labeled a liberal news organization)

Don't say I never gave you choices.