HATTIESBURG, MISS. - Today’s highly anticipated ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, regarding online sales tax revenue could not have come at a better time for Mississippi. The 5 to 4 ruling by the court allows for states to collect sales tax revenue from online purchases.
“We are all in agreement that a special session would be necessary for infrastructure and bridges,” Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant said. “We are just waiting now to see what the Supreme Court does.”
Gov. Bryant did not call a special session, yet because he anticipated a ruling to overturn the Quill Case from 1992, a case which implemented a law prohibiting states from collecting online sales taxes.
“I think it was wise on the Governor's part to wait until we knew whether the Supreme Court was going to overturn the Quill Decision, and allow taxation of online sales or not,” a State Senator for Mississippi, Joey Fillingane said. “And so now they have.”
This decision could give states a major boost in generated revenue.
“That could be anywhere between 50 and 75 million dollars, which that we might be able to dedicate to roads and bridges,” Gov. Bryant said.
Also, while providing help to the state's infrastructure, today's ruling could also help local businesses. A statement from Mississippi Attorney General, Jim Hood reads,
“Today’s ruling is a victory for our Main Street merchants in Mississippi. It puts them on a level playing field with large, out-of-state and international corporations… I have supported an internet sales tax from the beginning, not only because it will bring an estimated $50 million in the first year for our state, but because this means our local brick and mortar stores are now on a level playing field with businesses that have no storefront in Mississippi.”
Now, online prices could be going up in the near future.
“Up until now, it has also been a financial factor that will go away now because up until now, you have not been required to pay that sales tax on those online purchases,” Sen. Filligane said. “So, it is actually a little cheaper to purchase those good online. Now, that advantage will go away.”