Michigan lawmakers push for online sales tax

Lawmakers hope to even playing field by requiring online retailers to collect 6 percent sales tax

Author: Will Jones, Local 4 Reporter, @Local4Will, wjones@wdiv.com
Published On: Feb 06 2013 10:52:36 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 06 2013 11:01:34 PM EST
FERNDALE, Mich. -

The state of Michigan loses out on tens of millions of dollars each year to online shoppers not paying any sales tax.

Some Republican lawmakers are proposing legislation that would require online retailers to collect the 6 percent state sales tax. They say it would level the playing field with brick and mortar stores.

"You can usually get better prices online than in the stores, even if you are paying the 6 percent sales tax," said Calire Balmas, who frequently shops online.

Ryan Jones works for an online retailer that sells nutritional supplements. He says he wonders how the state will make sure online retailers are charging the tax.

"There is no sales tax on our product because it is a food product, but I don't know how the state is going to enforce or require every website in every state to collect taxes," Jones said.