Heitkamp cheers Supreme Court review of internet sales tax collections

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley on U.S. Supreme Court's decision to accept the state's case on online sales taxes 1/12/18. Video from the Attorney General's office

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Unfortunately, antiquated sales tax collection rules have resulted in an uneven playing field that's making it harder for Main Street retailers to compete in today's digital economy.

In November, NRF filed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to take up an appeal brought by the state of South Dakota, saying the 1992 Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, was occasioned when North Dakota attempted to collect a state use tax from the Quill Corporation, a mail-order office equipment company. "ERA continues to strongly believe that the physical presence standard set in the Quill decision stands as the correct Constitutional interpretation and should be upheld", said McClellan. That's because the big retailers have nexus in many states and are already collecting sales tax, unlike smaller online merchants and micro sellers. Let Congress finish its job in negotiating an equitable solution that works for all stakeholders.

"After six years in litigation, we welcome swift action from the highest court in the land", said state Rep. Rafael Anchia, a Democrat and chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, which is a plaintiff in the case. Through its acclaimed self-regulatory guidelines, ERA is dedicated to building consumer trust in direct response-marketed products and services.

The state estimates that in the current fiscal year it would fail to collect around $50 million in revenue that it would be able to obtain if it could force online retailers to collect sales tax. State officials then sent out notices of the tax to a long list of sellers it thought were subject to the tax. The state Supreme Court said it had no choice except to follow the Supreme Court precedent, noting that only the Justices themselves can overrule themselves.

Skepticism of Quill grew with internet sales, even among members of the Court.

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Speaking to journalists at the State Department, he said, "Everyone has a line that they will not cross". Officials said Feeley's departure was communicated to the U.S. "That time has come", he added.

South Dakota began the legal fight by filing suit against four retailers soon after the law was enacted: Wayfair, Overstock.com, Newegg Inc and Systemax Inc.

On Friday, the nation's highest court agreed to hear the case.

The grant of review of the South Dakota case on Friday was among similar grants on ten other cases. The Supreme Court in September put that on hold as they considered whether to hear Texas' appeal.

State Sen. Kel Seliger, an Amarillo Republican who chaired the Senate redistricting committee following the 2010 U.S. Census, said in August that he was puzzled by a federal court ruling to invalidate two congressional districts. North Carolina has also asked the court to hear a case in which its congressional map was struck down.

The lower court's unanimous decision said the districts violated the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, and ordered the state to quickly redraw the map.

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