"For years, online-only retailers have exploited this loophole that allows them not to collect sales tax, which has given them an unfair competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar stores", said James Miller, a spokesman for retailers.
Oklahoma has been trying to get online companies to comply with sales tax law for years.
In South Dakota, lawmakers in 2016 boosted the state's sales tax rate from 4 percent to 4.5 percent, but required the increase to be scaled back if the state could ever collect from out-of-state online retailers. In a press release, Governor Pete Ricketts said he would like to see the money used for property tax relief.
"If you look at the implosion of big-box stores, if you look at the explosion of online purchasing, these major life-changing market trends ... have a profound effect on the state's tax policy", he said.
Only five states do not have a state-wide sales tax: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, and Oregon. States had no viable way to track down everyone who wasn't paying their sales tax, which is why they wanted to force retailers to collect it regardless of where they were located.
"(The prior decision) puts both local businesses and many interstate businesses with physical presence at a competitive disadvantage relative to remote sellers", Kennedy wrote.
So the nation's highest court took another look at the matter and overturned its earlier ruling. "For years, this situation has resulted in substantial loss of revenue to states, thus increasing the tax burden on those who do pay the taxes they owe". "It automatically made the playing field unlevel for those entities that are here in the state doing business and participating in our community".
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