CHARLOTTE – There is a renewed push in the U.S. Senate to allow states to charge internet sales tax and it has major support from retail groups in North Carolina.
Miguel Montoya, owner of Silverfly, keeps everything around his store tightly tailored.
“We have jeans, and everything to dress up the jeans, and dress down the jeans,” said Montoya.
Business at Silverfly has thrived since its opening.
“This is my first retail store. We opened about three years ago, and it's doing well, and we plan on expanding,” said Montoya.
If Montoya sells jeans to a customer in South Carolina, it is tax free because he does not have stores or operations there, but a bill introduced in the U.S. Senate could change that.
“For North Carolina we lose about $300-400 million every year in lost sales tax,” said Andy Ellen, the president of the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association.
The bill would allow states to collect taxes on shipped-in goods.
It has got the backing of retail groups, like the National Retail Federation.
“With that money we could lower everybody's taxes, we could work on the transportation issues that so many people are concerned about. Maybe look at paying teachers more,” said Ellen.
Backers argue taxes level the playing field between companies who operate here, and companies that just ship in and skip out on taxes.
“Those companies are having a seven percent advantage over the companies that are here,” said Ellen.
A similar effort died last year in the House.
N.C. Senator Richard Burr said it has a good shot at being implemented.
“I think all we're doing is bringing equity to that, so they both have the same cost incurred, and nobody has a leg up,” said Burr.
Montoya said he does not mind taxes, as long states make it easy to pay them.
“So, it will become more and more of an issue, and this bill will become more and more important to us,” said Montoya.
The bill is currently in the U.S. Senate finance committee.