Supreme Court Opens The Door To Internet Taxes — What Comes Next Could Be A Lot Worse
Whatever you think about the issue of taxing internet sales, the simple fact is that the Supreme Court has just guaranteed that people across the country will now be paying more in state taxes. It’s hard for us to see how this is good news.
Brick-and-mortar stores have been trying to lift this ban for decades, because, they say, it unfairly tilts the playing field in favor of catalog and online retailers. According to the Government Accountability Office, this break cost states up to $13.4 billion in lost revenue last year alone. And, retailers say it cost jobs and hurt local economies.
The Supreme Court ruling was notable not just because it did something it rarely does — namely, overturn previous decisions. (The most recent, Quill v North Dakota, was in 1992.) The court also split in a highly unusual way.
On the majority side were rock-ribbed conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, who sided with Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion. But so did stalwart liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Kennedy argued that the explosive growth of online retail rendered the court’s previous rulings outdated.