Gov. Nathan Deal has proposed extending the state sales tax to online sales.
Eight states already tax electronic commerce, but most states have held off because Congress had signaled it would devise a national model to simplify the thousands of tax rates used by state and local governments across the country.
“In the absence of congressional activity on that … I think there will be some appetite to act on that in the legislature,” he said. “That’s still in the very, very early stages of discussion.”
The governor told the members of the Georgia Press Association that it could be a way to replace taxes the state would give up by exempting energy factories use from sales tax, an idea he is pushing this legislative session in hopes it will lure more manufacturing employers.
“It’s not something that can be easily done,” said Rep. Mickey Channell, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Federal court decisions limit how states can apply the tax, he said, adding that he favors it as a former retailer.
Earlier this year, Amazon.com made headlines when it challenged California’s sales tax on online sales, but ultimately backed down when a deal was reached with the state government.
Last year, in the comments to another post, I stated that if I were to buy an iPad at the Apple store, I’d pay the state sales tax, but by ordering it online, I might avoid the sales tax. A commenter whom I believe has reason to know better noted that if I did order it online and avoided paying sales tax, I’d still be obliged to pay a Georgia use tax on the purchase, though compliance with that tax is likely very low.