Governor Rick Snyder is asking U.S. lawmakers to adopt a federal solution to help states collect sales taxes on online purchases. In Michigan, a state law says consumers are supposed to pay the six percent tax if retailers don’t collect it. But few do, and the law is almost impossible to enforce.
Sara Wurfel, the governor’s press secretary says: “The estimates vary, but the latest estimate that we’ve seen is that, you know, Michigan is unable to collect almost $900 million dollars per year in sales and use taxes on these remote-type sales.”
A bill before the U.S. Senate would create a nationwide system for states to collect sales taxes directly from online retailers regardless of where they are located. Michigan brick-and-mortar stores say online operations have an unfair advantage in competing for the same customers.