Last week, in a win for commercial real estate, the U.S. Supreme Court announced a ruling that states should be able to require online sellers to collect and remit sales tax on purchases. The National Association of REALTORS® submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in favor of this position, because it helps create an even playing field between brick-and-mortar retailers and online businesses. In the case, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc., the Court ruled that the “physical presence” requirement which previously controlled is out of date in an e-commerce era. The State of Wisconsin is estimating new revenues ranging from $123 to $187 million, which Walker says he will return to the taxpayers in the form of other tax cuts.
NAR’s position is that online retailers today have an advantage over brick-and-mortar stores. Brick-and-mortar stores must charge sales tax on purchases while the obligation to collect taxes in online purchases does not fall on the retailer.