Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

February 5, 2013

Online sales tax collection clears Indiana House

Amazon.com and other online-only retailers would have to start collecting Indiana’s 7 percent sales tax this summer under legislation overwhelmingly approved Monday by the Indiana House that would negate an agreement between Amazon and former Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The House voted 79-18 in favor of requiring online retailers to start sales tax collections in July — six months earlier than planned under the deal Daniels reached with Amazon last year.

While supporters in the House argued that the state’s current policy gives online-only retailers an unfair advantage over traditional stores, the bill faces uncertain prospects in the Senate, where some leaders are worried about the consequences of breaking the deal with Amazon.

Rep. David Wolkins, R-Winona Lake, said during Monday’s House debate that Amazon had met its obligations to the state by opening five large warehouses and that forcing the earlier tax collection would undermine Indiana’s reputation when it comes to business negotiations.

“If I were the CEO of a company looking at Indiana, I’d say ‘Why should I believe you?’” Wolkins said.

The state’s current policy dates to a 2007 deal with Amazon, which agreed to open its first warehouse in Indiana with the promise that lawmakers wouldn’t push for online sales tax collection.

The bill would require all online-only retailers with a physical presence in Indiana to collect sales taxes, while exempting online retailers doing less than $10,000 in business a year in the state. Retailers with Indiana stores are already required to collect sales taxes for online transactions.

Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, told House members he didn’t believe Daniels ever had the authority to allow Amazon to ignore a state law requiring sales tax collections without involving the Legislature in the decision.

“I think that we need to send a message to all the governors going forward ... that you need to come here and ask us to change the law,” Pierce said.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who succeeded Daniels last month, and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann on Friday visited a new Amazon distribution center in Jeffersonville, where the company says it will eventually have some 1,000 workers.

Ellspermann said Monday that she didn’t know of any discussions with Amazon officials about the sales tax issue and that she didn’t know whether Pence had an opinion about the bill approved by the House. Pence spokeswoman Kara Brooks said the governor’s office didn’t have any immediate comment.

The Associated Press left messages seeking comment Monday from Amazon officials and the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma, who frequently doesn’t vote on bills, was among those voting in favor of the online sales tax bill.

It isn’t clear how much money the state might receive from additional sales tax collections.

A study completed last year by the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute and Ball State University researchers estimates the state loses up to $114 million a year in uncollected sales taxes on Internet purchases, while the state collected about $6.6 billion in sales taxes during the 2012 budget year.

Rep. Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, said he sponsored the sales tax bill because Amazon has had plenty of time to prepare for collecting sales taxes and has agreements with five states to start doing so earlier than its Indiana deal.

Dermody said the July start date would help Indiana retailers better compete during this year’s back-to-school and Christmas shopping seasons.

“This is about fairness,” he said. “This is trying to put everybody on a level playing field.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • NWS GN140822 john hertzel (2) John Hertzler relishes role with Goshen Historical Society GOSHEN — Visitors to the Goshen Historical Society’s museum might not know John Hertzler is there, tucked back in an office beyond the rows of historic documents, photographs and artifacts.

    August 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lifelong Learning fall courses announced GOSHEN — The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County is offering fall courses. These short courses are designed to provide stimulating and affordable classes in many fields for active seniors. There are no tests or grades, and no previous studies or degrees are required.

    August 21, 2014

  • South Ninth Street area under boil water order South Ninth Street, between East Jackson and Franklin streets in Goshen, is under a boil water order from noon until further notice.

    August 21, 2014

  • GN140821 Pike Street Project 2 INDOT meeting held to discuss Pike Street project GOSHEN — Major changes may be on the way for a small section of Pike Street in downtown Goshen.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0821 goshen college challenge Locals embrace ice bucket challenge It’s a challenge that has united participants with the shared sensation of an icy burst of water, sopping wet clothing and video evidence — all in the name of philanthropy.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 nisly complaint Complaint filed against state rep candidate Accusations of wrongdoing, in the form of a complaint to the Indiana Election Commission, have been levied against District 22 representative Republican nominee Curt Nisly.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140820 dometic groundbreaking Dometic breaks ground on significant expansion in Goshen GOSHEN — As Dometic officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $7 million expansion of their Goshen distribution center Wednesday, the work was already underway in the background. “It’s happening right now,” said Dave Schutz, vice presi

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140821 Ignition art Plenty of good music on horizon at Ignition Several upcoming shows at Ignition Garage in Goshen were announced this week.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • City plan nearing a final draft GOSHEN — The city’s new comprehensive plan is nearing completion, and a near-final draft has now been released for public review. Goshen Plan Commission members released the draft of the city’s newly penned comprehensive plan, titled “Uncommonly Grea

    August 19, 2014

  • GN140820 Hakws building Hotel, brew pub plans progressing GOSHEN — Plans for a new boutique hotel and brew pub at the historic Hawks building in downtown Goshen continue to move ahead steadily.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results
AP Video
Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit TX Gov Perry in Washington: 'Confident' in Case Hospital Releases Two Missionaries Who Had Ebola Ramen Health Risks: The Dark Side of the Noodle NYC Doctor-in-chief Seeks Community Approach Indonesian Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters Raw: Shots Fired in Liberian Shantytown DOJ, Bank of America Reach Record Settlement Raw: Cubavision Airs Images of Fidel Castro Raw: Grief After Deadly Airstrikes in Gaza Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended Kathy Griffin Challenges Minaj to 'a Booty Off' Johnson: Six Arrests, No Tear Gas in Ferguson Raw: Rescue, Relief Efforts at Japan Landslide Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream California Drought Stings Honeybees, Beekeepers Officer Who Pointed Gun at Protesters Suspended US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed