Online Retailers Could Soon Be Required to Collect State Sales Tax on More Items

State legislators passed bills Wednesday that would require online retailers to collect Michigan’s six percent sales tax on more items.

Those bills are headed to the governor’s desk where they are expected to be signed.

The tax change could generate up to $120 million in revenue.

That money would go to schools.

Some local stores are hoping this would level the playing field.

“It’s something obviously we can see that some democrats and republicans can agree on,” said Thaddaeus Gommesen, owner of Toy Town in Downtown Cadillac.

He says if these bills become law, it would be great for them.

“It could make them realize it’s a little less expensive to shop local and it makes it a little easier for companies to match prices too because yes we have to charge taxes but we can always work with you too,” said Gommesen.

Sites like Amazon already collect and pay Michigan’s six percent sales tax on items they sell.

This law would expand that to third party sellers on sites like Amazon, E-bay and Etsy.

Local shops say that could help them compete.

“Not necessarily the prices. Not necessarily the convenience but definitely we want to have a culture that makes people want to come back,” said Gommesen.

Across the street at Simply Delightful, they’re also excited for this possibility.

“There’s something to be said about being able to walk in and talk to a real person,” said Anders Garner, the director of sales at Simply Delightful. “If all of a sudden you’re paying the six percent no matter what why not go into the store and get it yourself?”.

He says he won’t be surprised if other states go after more of the sales tax they’re owed.

“I would imagine that since they’ve opened the door for this to happen that states are going to follow it because who doesn’t want to make a little extra revenue on their sales tax?” asked Garner.