Senate Showing Support For Online Sales Tax
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. People looking to save a few bucks by shopping online may no longer have that luxury. Currently there's no sales tax when purchasing from businesses outside of your state, but federal lawmakers may now have the support to change that. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of an amendment to the Marketplace Fairness Act, symbolically showing that there's bipartisan support.
In downtown Grand Junction on Main Street, mom and pop shops have taken their share of losses due to the online shopping industry.
As a music man Rock Cesario has seen just how common change is.
"We've seen it go from eight-track and reel to reel all the way to where it's to digital download," said Cesario, owner and operator of Triple Play Records.
When customers began taking their business to the Internet rather than the storefront, he didn't hesitate to keep up.
"I think that's what hurt the music business is that they didn't see the impact of the internet coming, and you've got to take advantage of it," he said.
However, some brick and mortar businesses say the act is necessary and would finally level out the playing field.
Diane Schwenke, president and CEO of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, said, "If you're a very price conscious consumer, which a lot of people are these days, it puts those mainstream brick and mortar businesses at a disadvantage."
While the chamber is in favor of what the Marketplace Fairness Act stands for, they do worry how it could affect businesses like Triple Play Records.
"The line is blurring between those just stand alone mainstream storefronts and those that just do internet sales," Schwenke said.
"Folks that buy from us on the internet, they don't even like paying shipping on their products, so I don't know how much they're going to like paying taxes," said Cesario.
"It's really important that we move beyond the conversation stage, which is where we've been for the last several years and actually look at home we might make this happen," said Schwenke.
Cesario says if he must, he will adapt, "I think the ones that survive will be stronger for it."
Only time will tell what changes mom and pop shops like his will need to make to stay in the game.
Both Senators Udall and Bennet have put forth support for the act. Those in favor also note it could mean billions of dollars for states.