Sales Tax for Online Purchases

S.170 is a reintroduction of last session’s S.870. Like last session’s bill S.170 would make internet retailers who make at least $10,000 from South Carolina consumers in a given year responsible for collecting and remitting sales tax on these purchases. Retailers who meet these criteria would also have to obtain a retail license. The tax would not be collected until January of 2016 in order to let a special tax exemption crafted for Amazon run until its previously legislated end date at the close of the year.

Apart from the damage this bill would do to online sales in South Carolina, the bill is blatantly unconstitutional. The State Constitution prohibits the Senate from originating bills that raise revenue. This legislation is just one more piece of evidence that lawmakers will ignore the law when it impedes efforts to increase their power.

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