Florida lawmakers push to tax online purchases - FOX 13 News

Florida lawmakers push to tax online purchases

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Legislation is moving ahead at the state Capitol that would require big Internet retailers to collect sales taxes for your online purchases.

Tuesday, a Senate committee passed a bill would require out-of-state Internet retailers to collect sales taxes even if they don't have stores in Florida.

Currently, online retailers like Amazon do not collect sales taxes from Floridians because they don't have a physical location in the state.

Florida retailers say that puts them at a competitive disadvantage. Even if stores charge the same price as Amazon, the charge ends up 6 or 7 percent more because of sales taxes.

Sen. Nancy Detert is sponsoring a bill that eliminates that advantage for Internet-only retailers.

The idea has been around for more than a decade, but lawmakers shied away from it, because some called it a tax hike. Collecting online sales taxes would raise at least an extra $400 million for the state.

Detert says her bill is cash-neutral. It would take the extra sales tax collections and return the cash to businesses and consumers.

"The world has changed and it really is e-fairness. It's tax reform. It's just new, new, new. We have to look at things in a whole new way and I think we've come up with a perfect blend to have a different kind of tax and then have that money generated back to job creation," Detert said.

The bill still must pass votes in three more committees before it can get to the Senate floor for debate.

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