Bill Could Mean Spending More When Shopping Online

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CLEVELAND-- Shopping online could cost you more at the checkout if the Senate has its way.

Lawmakers are planning to vote on a bill giving states the power to collect sales tax on internet purchases by their residents.

"I prefer shopping online to save money. You can find better deals if you go on eBay or Amazon or anything like that to find a better bargain," said Nicole Kelly of Berea.

Some shoppers like Kelly let their fingers do their online bargain hunting to save big money.

Soon the Senate is expected to vote on a bill designed to give states the power to collect sales tax on goods you buy in cyberspace.

"Shipping and sales tax is gonna defer people from shopping online," said Kelly.

The legislation is called the "Marketplace Fairness Act" and would give states the authority to collect taxes from retailers outside their borders.

Currently states can only collect from vendors when they have a physical presence within their borders.

The National Retail Federation supports the new sales tax legislation. In a statement they claim they can compete with customer service and selection but not on sales tax.
"The Marketplace Fairness Act would level the sales tax playing field among retailers,  both local and online, empower states to enforce their own sales tax laws and most importantly protect small business owners, e-commerce entrepreneurs and consumers."

Some online shoppers say they have mixed opinions on the sales tax legislation.

"It's easier to just shop online and I think I would do less of my shopping online if I have to pay sales tax that I normally wouldn't pay," said Carina Dotson of Seven Hills.

"I'm generally anti tax but I think it makes sense to level the playing field to start taxing internet transactions because at this point it's really hurting the big box stores and internet businesses are a multi-billion dollar industry now," said Steve Delchin of Wickliffe.

If the Marketplace Fairness legislation is passed, cash-strapped states could receive billions each year in added sales tax revenue.

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