Regarding David Nicklaus’ column, "With both fairness and revenue at stake, Missouri lags in collecting online sales tax" (Sept. 6): Out of the 45 states that levy a sales tax, Missouri and Florida are the only two states that do not tax internet purchases. Per the article, taxing online shopping could bring in at least $93 million and as much as $142.5 million for Missouri next year. In addition, local governments could collect between $90.7 million and $138.6 million. This is a lot of money.
The reason, apparently, is that some Missouri lawmakers are mistaking an online sales tax as a tax increase. Really? Isn’t it just a sales tax on retail purchases, which we already collect? Understandably, the Missouri Retailer’s Association is urging state officials to implement an online sale tax, chiefly in the interest of fairness.
For the first time ever, this year the total market share of “non-store” (or online) retail sales is higher than that of brick-and-mortar retail stores. Our local stores are losing business, and Missouri is losing the corresponding retail sales tax. Why does the Legislature feel comfortable losing out on much-needed funding?
Terese McGrath • St. Louis County