Posted: May 7, 2013 8:13 PM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
HELENA - Out-of-state shoppers may be paying more when buying Montana products over the internet.
By a vote of 69-27, the U.S. Senate passed a bill which allows states to collect sales taxes from companies which sell their products online.
Right now if these companies don't have a brick and mortar store they aren't required to collect a sales tax.
Supporters of the legislation say all businesses should be treated equally, whether online or in a physical store.
However, for states like Montana without a sales tax, the bill has some consequences.
If a Montana company does all its business online and sells to a customer in a state with a sales tax, the company could be forced to collect the tax and send it to the other state.
Montana's U.S. Senators Max Baucus (D) and Jon Tester (D) both voted against the bill, calling it a burden for small businesses.
It now heads to the U.S. House where U.S. Representative Steve Daines (R-MT) says he will work to kill the bill.
"We have a heritage in this state of not having a sales tax, and Montana has been very clear with me, as I listen to where they are on this issue," Daines said. "And that is they do not want the federal government imposing a sales tax on the people of Montana. So I will stand in firm opposition to it."
According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, last year it was estimated states lost out on $23 billion as a result of not being able to collect these sales tax revenues.