States will now be able to require more people to pay sales tax when they make online purchases under a new Supreme Court ruling.
That decision could leave shoppers with lighter wallets, but one retail and business expert says overall, she considers it a positive.
"This is a win, really recognizing that we are in a new digital era that doesn't really require a store or a warehouse in a physical space to make the transaction happen," said Kelli Hollinger, director of the Center for Retailing Studies at the Texas A&M Mays Business School. "Formerly this was really an advantage for online retailers who are out of state, because they could offer a better price to a customer in Texas if they are having it shipped from somewhere else, so the ruling really does level the playing field, taking away some of that unfair advantage for some e-commerce players."
KBTX reached out to Wayfair, a large online retailer with a warehouse presence in Bryan. A representative released this statement on the company's behalf:
"We welcome the additional clarity provided by the Court's decision today. Wayfair already collects and remits sales tax on approximately 80% of our orders in the United States, a number that continues to grow as we expand our logistics footprint. As a result, we do not expect today's decision to have any noticeable impact on our business, as it may on other retailers who do not currently collect and remit sales tax.
"Wayfair has long supported a legislative solution that would establish a level playing field for brick-and-mortar and online retailers by permitting states to collect sales tax on online sales. While we believe the Court was not the ideal venue for creating this level playing field, we expect that today's decision will bring clarity and certainty to this issue."