Cost of convenience
Local businesses say online sales tax loophole puts them at competitive disadvantage
While transactions with large companies that have distribution centers in New York State are subject to sales tax, other online sales are not. A proposed federal law would require that all online transactions be taxed. This would “even the playing field” according to its supporters, which includes groups representing small businesses.
“A sale is a sale, no matter where it takes place," says David B. Henry, chairman of the International Council of Shopping Centers. "By not having to collect sales tax, online retailers have a distinct competitive advantage over their local retail counterparts." Some local businesspeople agreed. "It's only fair, isn't it?" says Cheryl Rice, manager of the Inquiring Mind Bookstore & Cafe in Saugerties.