Indiana News

House Seeks to Resurrect Amazon Sales Tax Bill

Senate bottled up bill in committee, but House may force negotiations

4/9/2013

An attempt to force Amazon to collect sales tax in Indiana has died without a hearing in the Senate, but House supporters aren't giving up.

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A House committee has inserted the Amazon language into an unrelated bill, in an attempt to keep it alive for negotiations in the final weeks of the legislative session. Amazon struck a deal with then-Governor Mitch Daniels to begin collecting the tax in 2014.

Even if the Senate relents, Governor Pence has indicated he believes the state should honor that agreement.

Representative Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) says he's focused on getting the provision he authored through the House and Senate, but says he hopes Pence will reconsider if the bill reaches his desk. He notes his support for the governor on college tuition proposals.

Brick-and-mortar stores have complained for years that online retailers have an unfair price advantage because a U.S. Supreme Court decision makes it impossible to force them to collect sales tax. They sharply criticized the Daniels administration for allowing Amazon a grace period, and the complaints grew louder when Amazon cut deals with other states which set earlier effective dates.

Dermody's bill would move up the effective date by just six months, but he says that would give brick-and-mortar stores a level playing field in time for back-to-school and holiday shopping.

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