SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Right now, if you buy something from Missouri online, you don’t have to pay sales tax.
But that could soon change since Missouri lawmakers are debating the “Wayfair Bills.”
In 2018, the Supreme Court decided that each state’s sales taxes can apply to out-of-state online retailers.
In the United States, Missouri is one of only two states to have sales tax but not Wayfair tax.”
“It’s the worst incentive you would want to say hey, go purchase from a non-Missouri business, we’ll give you a tax break,” said State Senator Andrew Koenig.
“It’s just unfair to some of our local businesses that you could go in there and try something on, test something, and literally while you’re standing in that brick and mortar store at the local town square, you can order something online and receive it 8 to 9 percent cheaper because you’re buying it online,” said State Senator Denny Hoskins.
The state senators said the goal is to put everyone on a level playing field, including online retailers and brick-and-mortar businesses in small towns.
Most senators are actually on board with a Wayfair tax.
But the debate is on what to do with that extra revenue that would come in.
“We have a lot of different opinions,” Senator Hoskins said.
“So I think if we’re going to pass a bill, the best thing we need to do is pass a revenue-neutral bill from general revenue,” said Senator Koenig, “you have a lot of people who just want to keep the revenue, you have some that want to not only cut the state’s portion but also cut the local.”
“With my bill, what it does, if you’re currently paying 9% sales tax, at a brick and mortar store in your local community, you would pay the same amount of tax for that online purchase. We would reduce the overall sales tax rate, and so my hope would be that you would pay 6 1/2% whether you bought something online or at brick and mortar store,” Senator Hoskins said.
The bill has been turned in and is on the Senate calendar.
Senators will debate bills in order.
The senators say they hope this one, the Wayfair Bills, will be on schedule in the next few weeks.